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Update - No access to suitable shoes leaves patients isolated

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VOL: 102, ISSUE: 44, PAGE NO: 41

Patients who need dressings or bandages on their feet do not have access to appropriate footwear in the community, which is restricting their activity.

Patients who need dressings or bandages on their feet do not have access to appropriate footwear in the community, which is restricting their activity.

This is according to the preliminary results of an audit carried out by Brenda King, clinical nurse specialist in tissue viability at Sheffield PCT.

A questionnaire was sent to 160 community nurses to see the type of footwear available to people with ulceration or oedema whose legs were bandaged. Of the 160 forms sent out, 102 were returned.

The audit revealed that patients were wearing slippers and many felt unable to leave their homes, leading to social exclusion. Others were wearing sandals, slips-ons or open-toe shoes which limited activity in wet weather. Only 12% had footwear provided by the NHS.

Ms King said: 'When a need for different footwear is a result of treatment prescribed by a healthcare practitioner, it is unjust that this is not provided in the community.

'Questions need to be asked about the risk that poor-fitting and inappropriate footwear may pose to patients' mobility and the possibility that it may contribute to falls.'

The full report will appear in Chronic Wound Management in January 2007.

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