Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Slippage in Podiatry

Care for disabled elderly people is difficult to fund. I am a young 55ish year old disabled person with a neurological condition called Multiple Sclerosis (MS) receiving care in the community of Bath and North East Somerset (BANES). MS is still misunderstood. This is illustrated by shrieking care professionals proffering their opinions starting with:”In my experience…” It would be laughable if it were not applying to you… 

After an amazing coincidence of unlucky circumstances I was hastily discharged into care in the community. Was I ringing the bell too often for the comrades in need of nursing care in my ward? 


During endless exhausting meetings and assessments I needed to stress with as clear as possible details what the result of a good regular nutritional diet are. I was the one sat in the ill fitting wheelchair and they did not feel comfortable. Then I understood that what I said was enough when staff started writing in their notes that I had a good diet.


I was given personal care four times a day. It had to be given at regular times. They took a bit longer to understand why. Then I discovered that podiatry was NOT included in any care plan. No one had a clue how it was going to happen: care workers at the bottom of the pyramid get sacked and banished if they dare cutting toe nails; District Nurses cannot do anything but shriek that they cannot do anything; General Practitioners cannot do anything but prescribe antibiotics with dreadful results for wheelchair users with erratic personal home care and there are few domiciliary podiatrists. If you say that you have pain it is not enough.

MY right foot after the operation September 32010
I tried putting pain, puss and blood; it did very little. With tears added to the previous list I got someone come in two weeks. It happened six times to the same toe before a very short surgical operation was performed.

Feet are not luxury appendages when you are sat in a wheelchair….


MS people will have more spasms which then added to ill-fitting NHS wheelchair will give more spasms and bad posture…and bad harassed hurried personal care because there is more to do in the same amount of time which leads to abuse:” I don’t care if your foot drops off!” This was ignored. It was astonishing and on persisting this shocking incident became nothing but some lack of respect! 


I find with dismay that renewing a podiatry appointment has become more difficult in BANES. The podiatry service, provided by Sirona, does not have enough funding to employ podiatrists in a health centre. Tweaking my personal budget for care I naturally self refer and find an assistant to drive me and accompany me to a podiatry clinic at the Keynsham Health Centre. My toe nails grow. I also know that there is longevity in my family...The renewal of appointments is made more difficult as I think it is cynically expected that people forget, die or give up…slippage in podiatry waiting list!