Information for the public
The foot protection service and the multidisciplinary foot care service both provide specialist foot care for people with diabetes.
The doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who provide diabetes care should take into account if you have any disabilities, for example, if you have any sight problems. In addition, if you are housebound or living in a care home or nursing home, they should take this into account to make sure you have the same foot checks and treatments as everyone else.
The foot protection service is usually based outside the hospital, for example, in a health centre or GP clinic. The foot protection service specialises in providing foot care for people with diabetes, preventing diabetic foot problems and dealing with foot problems that don't need to be treated in hospital.
The foot protection service should be led by a podiatrist (someone trained to look after your feet; sometimes called a chiropodist) with special training in dealing with diabetic foot problems.
The multidisciplinary foot care service is usually based at a hospital. It specialises in treating more severe diabetic foot problems. You might also hear it called an interdisciplinary foot care service, but the meaning is the same.
The terms 'multidisciplinary' and 'interdisciplinary' mean that the foot care service is made up of different kinds of healthcare professionals who work together to deliver care. The diabetes multidisciplinary service should include diabetologists (consultants who specialise in diabetes), podiatrists and diabetes nurse specialists, as well as other healthcare professionals with expertise in treating and managing diabetic foot problems.
Some treatments or care described here may not be suitable for you. If you think that your treatment does not match this advice, talk to your healthcare professional.
Questions to ask about your care
Please tell me more about living with diabetes.
Please tell me more about diabetic foot problems.
Can you give me written information? What websites are helpful?
What about lifestyle? Can you give me information about diet and exercise?
How often will I need to see someone? Who will I see and where will I see them?
What should I take to my appointments?
Who should I contact if I have any questions or am worried about my diabetes or about my feet?
What sorts of health problems are associated with having diabetes? What can I do to help prevent these?
Can you point me towards local or national support groups?