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Foot health

The Department of Foot Health cares for a wide range of foot and lower limb problems amongst the population of Sandwell and West Birmingham community. We provide a number of specialist clinics tailored to each patients need, more information on the services we provide can be found on the “services” tab above.

Where are our services

Clinics are run from a number of community locations across Sandwell and West Birmingham. These include:

  • Glebefields Health centre – Ocker Hill
  • The Lyng centre for Health and Social care – West Bromwich
  • Mesty Croft clinic – Wednesbury
  • Neptune Health Park – Tipton
  • Oldbury Health centre – Oldbury
  • Rowley Regis Hospital – Rowley Regis
  • Victoria Health centre – Smethwick
  • Warley Medical centre – Warley

 

Some specialist services are also provided from Sandwell and  City Hospitals.

How to access our services

You can be referred to Department of Foot Health by any healthcare professional. A GP referral is required to access specialist services, Rheumatology, Neurology, Nails surgery and Biomechanics clinics.

You can self-refer for core services (general podiatry and foot care) if you fall into one of the following categories;

  • Aged 65 or over with a foot problem
  • Children up to the age of 16 with a foot problem
  • Diabetic with a foot problem
  • Pregnant women, nursing mothers or mother who have given birth within a year with a foot problem
  • Registered disabled with a foot problem
  • Individuals with a medical condition that puts their feet at risk without treatment
  • Patients requiring nails surgery.

 

For more information about disabled access for this service, please click here.

 

Team

The Foot Health team is made up of wide variety of experienced Podiatrists, Foot care assistants, technical instructors and administrative staff.

Our Podiatry team includes Podiatrists who specialise in Diabetes, Rheumatology, Biomechanics, Neurology, Paediatrics, nails surgery and wound care.

Services

Nail surgery
Nail surgery involves removing all or part of an ingrowing or deformed toenail to relieve symptoms when other treatments have failed or infections occur regularly. The surgery is done under local anaesthetic (you are awake throughout the procedure) and patients go home the same day. Surgery is carried out by a specialist podiatrist assisted by a technical instructor.  Patients attend an appointment three or four days after the surgery to redress the toe, where they are shown how to carry out further redressings. Patients are then discharged from the service and given an emergency contact number. All nail surgery is carried out at Neptune Health Park in Tipton.

High risk clinics
These are rapid access clinics for patients that have either developed a foot ulceration or an acute foot problem that require fast access to treatment. After treatment in a high-risk clinic, patients are discharged to a community foot clinic for their foot condition to be monitored and the status of the foot to be maintained.  The high risk clinic initially provides a greater level of support to help prevent reoccurrence of the problem.  Foot ulcers treated in this clinic are usually caused by vascular insufficiency (a decrease in blood flow to an area) or neuropathy (numbness in an area due to nerve damage through disease or trauma). High risk clinics are available at Oldbury Health Centre and The Lyng.

Neurological foot service
The Neurological foot service caters for people who have a foot condition that is caused or related to a neurological problem (a problem related to the brain or nervous system). It is aimed at controlling the patient’s foot condition and improving their mobility by providing in-shoe devices, braces or supports. It also provides exercise plans to help improve the results of the treatment and reduce the risk of falls. Neurology clinics are available at Oldbury Health Centre, Glebefields Health Centre and Rowley Regis Hospital.

Biomechanics
Biomechanics is a way of assessing how a patient’s foot and lower leg works when walking. The purpose of biomechanics is to:

  • Prevent a one-off condition developing into a chronic long-term condition
  • Improve the way the foot works during walking
  • Reduce the pressure on the lower limbs and back
  • Improve and alleviate pressure on the foot

The types of conditions commonly seen by the service are heel pain, ankle pain, knee pain, and forefoot pain. A temporary or permanent in-shoe orthotic device will be issued if required and an exercise programme will be outlined if appropriate. Most in-shoe orthotics are manufactured in our in-house laboratory at Rowley Regis Hospital. Biomechanics clinics are available at Oldbury Health Centre, Rowley Regis Hospital and Glebefields health Centre.

The Biomechanics service also offers heel pain education sessions and steroid injection therapy where required.

High Risk Biomechanics

These clinics work with patients who have, or may be prone to foot injuries such as ulcerations related to long-term medical conditions, such as Diabetes or Neurological conditions.

The High Risk Biomechanics clinics utilises specialist foot pressure mapping equipment to guide the provision of in-shoe orthotics or other offloading interventions. High Risk Biomechanics clinic is provided from Sandwell Hospital, outpatients Physiotherapy department.

Diabetic foot care
This service is aimed at preventing foot health problems in patients with diabetes.

The diabetes foot care service offers:

  • Patient information
  • Screening for diabetic foot risk
  • Treatment of the foot and investigation of the underlying causes of problems
  • Referrals to other health professionals where necessary
  • Education and training to carers and healthcare professionals

There are rapid access consultant-led clinics at both Sandwell and City Hospitals for diabetic patients who have developed urgent problems such as a foot ulcer. It is managed by a specialist podiatrist with other multidisciplinary team members providing input.

Rheumatology
The Rheumatology service provides a direct linked pathway from the hospital Rheumatology team to give assessment and treatment to patients with foot conditions caused or affected by musculoskeletal diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis. The service provides in-shoe devices and exercise to reduce the effects of the disease process on the foot.

Referrals are accepted from the hospital Rheumatology team, Physiotherapists and GPs.

Rheumatology clinics are available at The Lyng centre, Rowley Regis Hospital, Glebefields Medical centre and City Hospital.

Podopaediatric clinic
This clinic provides a comprehensive children’s foot health service, utilising applied biomechanics, exercises and orthotic devices for the treatment and prevention of foot related problems in later life.

The service also provides parents and carers with the information and advice they need to help children maintain good foot health.

For their first appointment patients will receive a 30-minute assessment. Following this, a plan will be agreed with the patient and carer. Temporary or permanent orthotic devices will be issued and an exercise plan agreed if appropriate. Follow-up appointments will be organised as required.

Referrals are accepted from any healthcare professional. Referral is also accepted by parent or guardian. Podopaediatric clinics are available at The Lyng Centre, Glebefields Health Centre and Whiteheath Medical centre.

Patient Stories

Biomechanics patient story

Mr H was referred to the Department of Foot Health by his GP suffering heel pain. He was offered an assessment appointment within six weeks of this referral, and was assessed in the Biomechanics clinic by a specialist Podiatrist.

“Both my heels are painful; they’ve been bad for around two years.” – Mr H

Mr H had tried a number of over-counter remedies to try to elevate his symptoms, including pain killers and soft insoles he’d bought from the pharmacy.

At his assessment appointment Mr H was diagnosed as having Plantar Fasciopathy and advised to complete stretching exercises to improve his symptoms and given a pair of insoles for his shoes to improve the way his foot worked when he walked.

Mr H was reviewed in Biomechanics clinic six weeks after his initial assessment.

“My heels are much better with the insole, I hardly get pain now” – Mr H

Mr H was advised on steps he could take to reduce the chance of his heel pain returning, including advice of footwear.

Mr H was discharged from the Department of Foot Health with an open invite to seek a referral in the future should he have further problems.

Rheumatology patient story

Miss C, a 29-year-old class room assistant, was referred to the Department of Foot Health by a Rheumatology consultant from Sandwell General Hospital with generalised foot, ankle, leg & knee pain.

“I had to give up work full time because of the pain” – Miss C

Following the referral from the consultant, Miss C was triaged into the Rheumatology foot clinic and an appointment was made with a Specialist Podiatrist. A full biomechanic assessment was carried out and a diagnosis of Peroneal tendonosis, shin splints and patellofemoral pain was made. Miss C’s problems were caused by hypermobility within her joints and pes planus (flat) feet.

Miss C was provided with a pair of customised insoles to improve her foot position and reduce excess movements caused by her hypermobility, she was also advised on the type of shoes she should be wearing to help with her problems.

Miss C was reviewed six weeks later and showed significant improvements;

“I’ve been able to go back to work full time because my legs and feet are much better” – Miss C

 Patient Compliments

“First of all I would like to give many thanks to NHS for their good and excellent service provided to me. I am very pleased to write you that your staff are very very good and they are giving a very excellent service. I thank you all and I salute you all” – Jan 2015

“The treatment was marvellous and the gentleman was very caring and gentle” – Feb 2015

“Was treated by a podiatrist today and I am so pleased with my treatment and the way he looked after me, he has been exceptional and he is the best podiatrist I have been treated by and I just had to call up to sing his praises. Please make sure you pass my compliments onto your manager so she knows what wonderful staff she has” – Oct 2014

“I was very pleased with my treatment today and good advice given to me. I am now able to walk, which was very difficult before I came” – Feb 2015

Contacts

For further details you can contact the Department of Foot Health through the Community Contact Centre. Mon-Fri 8am-6pm.(excluding bank holidays)

Tel: 0121 507 2664

Email: sandwell.foothealth@nhs.net

Post:
The Department of Foot Health
Hallam Building
Community Contact Centre
Sandwell General Hospital
Lyndon
West Bromwich
B71 4HJ

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