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The 2016 Cosyfeet Podiatry Award winner was Marie Stirling, a Diabetic Podiatrist working in Dr Grays, an acute NHS hospital clinic within NHS Grampian. She is using the money to help fund a trial to compare traditional ‘total contact casting’ (TCC) with a new roll-on method (the TCC-EZ device) used to offload pressure from diabetic foot ulcers.
As many podiatrists know, TCC is the gold standard for offloading pressure from ulcers in suitable diabetic patients, but whether this treatment is offered may be a bit of a ‘postcode lottery’ due to a variety of factors, including access to training and the time-consuming application method. The new roll-on TCC-EZ device, although more expensive, is thought to be quicker and easier to apply, and could prove more cost-effective for the NHS to administer to appropriate patients.
In this trial, the first of its type, Marie will head up a small team to directly compare the costs, usage and patient outcomes of both methods of offloading, using a small number of suitable candidates. The trial will take place over a 20-week period with the results presented as a ‘Health Economics Review’. This will be used to inform policy decisions regarding offloading techniques in the Grampian region and beyond.
“Identifying the pros and cons of these two offloading methods is crucial to understanding how we can best treat patients who require offloading in order to heal,” says Marie. “Saving someone’s limb is one of the most important things a podiatrist can do, and I’m delighted that this funding will help us learn how to do this more effectively.”
A full report of Marie’s findings will be available here on completion of the study early in 2017.