Talking the walk: WA Foot Forum

Photograph of WA Foot Forum attendees
January 17, 2018

The increasing prevalence of diabetes and foot complications arising from diabetes is behind the establishment of a new organisation – the WA Foot Forum.

The inaugural WA Foot Forum was held recently to bring together people working across a broad range of foot care specialities, academic institutions, primary care and the Aboriginal community to standardise and raise the quality of diabetic foot care across the State.

RPH’s Vascular Fellow Dr Olufemi Oshin said integrated evidence-based care was central to the delivery of high quality foot care.

“This can only be achieved by collaboration between organisations, healthcare professionals and patients,” Dr Oshin said. “The creation of the WA Foot Forum is the first step in raising standards that would make WA an exemplar region for diabetic foot care.”

Dr Oshin explained that the impact of diabetes and associated complications are significant, with unacceptably high numbers of patients spending considerable time in hospital or ultimately losing their legs.

“This has consequences for the patient and their families and also places significant strain on scarce healthcare resources. Nationally there is a drive to reduce avoidable amputations within a generation.”

Cara Westphal, Head of Podiatry at RPH said it was wonderful to be able to bring a large group of like-minded WA clinicians together to discuss such an important health issues.

“These patients are highly complex and require the combined skills and knowledge of a number of medical, surgical, allied health and nursing professions to ensure optimal outcomes,” Cara said.

“By meeting regularly and working together, I hope to see increased research collaboration, consistency of care and ongoing improvement of patient outcomes across WA.”

Further meetings throughout the year along with a state-wide diabetic foot study to educate and raise awareness about the importance of high quality diabetic foot care has been planned.