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New guidance for community nurses on homeless foot health

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The Queens Nursing Institute has published new guidance to “arm” community nurses with more knowledge for supporting homeless patients with foot health problems.

Specialist podiatry clinics working with homeless people have reported a high level of need among this group for this type of support, according to the QNI.

But the QNI noted these clinics were not universally available and that increased knowledge among community nurses could help to tackle the problem.

“Maintaining good foot health is of real importance to people and can be an opportunity to identify other conditions such as diabetes”

David Parker-Radford

The new guidance - called The foot health of people experiencing homelessness: Guidance for community nurses – provides an overview of information about foot health conditions that have a higher prevalence among the homeless including trench foot, foot ulcers, chilblains and neuropathy.

David Parker-Radford, homeless health project manager at the QNI, said:  “The QNI’s visits to specialist podiatry clinics working with the homeless has shown us a very high level of need among this group. Unfortunately these specialist clinics are not universally available.

Source: Science Photo Library

Diabetic neuropathy

“Maintaining good foot health is of real importance to people and can be an opportunity to identify other conditions such as diabetes.”

He said the guidance had been created in response to stark evidence that keeping feet healthy is a far greater challenge for people who are homeless.

“The power of an understanding community nurse cannot be underestimated. The QNI created this guidance to arm community nurses with more knowledge to have these conversations and develop more practical support on a more regular basis,” he added.

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