Footcare and diabetes
Having diabetes means you are at greater risk of developing foot problems because the condition can reduce blood supply to your feet, causing loss of sensation. You might not notice your foot is sore or injured and healing can be impaired.
You are also at risk of developing foot ulcers and infections. In some cases, this can progress to amputations. Every person with diabetes should be encouraged to inspect their feet daily and alert a health professional if there are any concerns.
How to care for your feet
As a minimum, you should have an annual diabetic foot review by a healthcare professional, to check blood supply and sensation in the feet. From this assessment you should be informed of the risk category of your feet, either low risk, moderate/increased risk or high risk (this is the risk of going on to develop foot ulcers).
Our team can provide:
- Assessment, diagnosis and treatment of diabetic foot conditions.
- Wound care, involving debridement, dressing regimes and management of infection.
- Assessment and provision of appropriate offloading devices and referral to the orthotics service, for bespoke devices, as required.
We provide a comprehensive service to help you manage your condition and care for your feet. This includes community and hospital based clinics, specialist Community wound care clinics and emergency care.
This is provided by our multidisciplinary diabetic foot care team in North Devon. For our Eastern services, most diabetes foot care is provided by the community podiatry team. Those with more complex problems can be seen by our diabetic foot team at the Macleod Diabetes and Endocrine Centre. We also have an inpatient diabetes podiatry service, for those in hospital with active diabetes foot problems. Appropriate follow-up is then arranged post-discharge.
More about our services
Outpatient clinics are run Monday to Friday by specialist diabetes podiatrists. They provide podiatry care for people with active foot disease, including foot ulceration, infection, Charcot foot and post-amputation wounds.
Specialist doctors from our diabetes team, as well as doctors from across other departments in the hospital, including vascular and orthopaedics are involved in our foot clinics. We also work with orthotics (who provide specialist equipment, such as footwear) tissue viability, the plaster room and the wider diabetes team.
How to access our services
To self-refer simply complete the Patient Self Referral Application to Podiatry Form and send to:
North Devon Podiatry Services
Barnstaple Health Centre
It is important to speak to your GP or other Healthcare Professional to be referred to our service.
What should I do in an emergency?
If you have any injury to your foot (or feet) and you have reduced feeling or reduced blood circulation to your feet this could be a medical emergency that needs attention NOW!
If you are already an NHS podiatry patient contact the podiatry team on
Northern services 01271 341509 Monday to Friday 0900 - 1600
Eastern services 0345 266 7772 Monday to Friday 0900 - 1600
or if out of hours contact your GP or go to your closest Emergency Department.
Meet the team
The diabetes foot team is made up of many different teams. Some patients may only see one or two different specialties, others may see multiple specialties.
Diabetes specialist podiatrists:We provide assessment, treatment and co-ordination of care for active diabetic foot conditions.
Diabetes consultants:We provide overall medical care of the diabetic foot, particularly around complex antibiotic regimes and diabetes management.
Vascular team:We help look after patients with diabetes who have impaired blood supply. Surgery may be done to improve blood supply to the lower limb, or to remove infective/devitalised tissue.
Orthopaedic team: We help to look after patients with diabetes who have bony conditions/deformities. Surgery may be done to correct deformity or stabilise the foot.
Orthotics team: We are specialists in assessing, measuring and fitting bespoke footwear and insoles.
Tissue viability team: We are specialists in wound care and dressings.
Patient information leaflets
Within your diabetes annual review you will receive a foot check and at the end of this foot check you should be told the results and your level of risk of foot problems.
The Diabetes UK ‘What to expect at your Annual Foot Check‘ leaflet gives you information about what to expect at your foot check.
We also have a range of Patient Information leaflets here
Information for healthcare professionals
The Integrated Diabetes Foot pathway works across primary care (GP surgeries, community nurses and community podiatry teams), through to hospital outpatients clinics and inpatient stays .
You can find out more about this in our Healthcare Professionals section, which also includes useful resources such as the Exeter Diabetes handbook.