Thursday, April 24, 2008
Foot health standards for people with arthirits
Earlier this week the Podiatry Rheumatic Care Association (PRCA) UK launched an new national Standards of Care for People with Musculoskeletal Foot Health Problems. According to PRCA painful foot problems suffered by people with arthritis are seriously neglected and are subject to huge and unacceptable regional variations, according to a team of foot care experts. For many foot problems mean isolation, inability to work and shop, and increased dependency on social and health services. Twenty-eight Standard Statements have been developed, grouped under generic statements for overall provision of foot health services and disease specific statements covering inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis, connective tissue disease, metabolic bone disease and back pain. People coping with musculoskeletal foot health problems should be encouraged to avail themselves of the existing services available to them to impove foot health. The detailed rationale for each standard draws on available evidence and examples of good practice furnished by providers of foot heath care across the UK. The Standards affirm that people with musculoskeletal foot health problems need integrated services that provide timely advice and support covering all aspects of managing and living with their condition. The project was funded by the Arthritis Research Campaign. And the hope is the new standards will act as a tool for all stakeholders including to work together to review and improve local musculoskeletal foot health services. The Standards of Care for people with foot disorders supplement a suite of disease specific Standards published by the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA), the umbrella body for the musculoskeletal community in the UK. Standards published to date by ARMA cover people with inflammatory arthritis, osteoarthritis, regional musculoskeletal pain, back pain, metabolic bone disease and connective tissue disease. The standards of care for people with musculoskeletal foot health problems are to be distributed widely to all primary care trusts, GPs, and all those involved in planning, delivering and receiving foot care. Best practice examples are provided throughout to illustrate how they can be put in practice.