The Guardian: Feet first, our NHS is limping towards privatisation

From the Guardian news article:

…This clinic lost four podiatry posts to save money: though diabetic numbers soar, its budget has been static for five years. “Doing more for less,” he says with the same weary sigh you hear echoing through the NHS. As Bowen goes through the clinic’s books removing all but the most acute cases, he turns away diabetics whose problems should be caught early. He turns away others he used to treat: the old and frail who have become immobile due to foot problems; the partially sighted or people with dementia who have poor home care. On a 15-minute visit carers can’t check feet and find out if they are the reason someone doesn’t get out of bed, toes buckled in, leaving them needlessly incapacitated and heading for residential care sooner than necessary.

What happens to those he takes off his books? “They have to go private, if they can afford it. If not, then nothing.” He used to send them to Age UK, but lack of funds shut that service. Only 5% of podiatry is now done by the NHS so Bowen has set up TipToe, a private practice attached to his NHS clinic. It’s not what he wants, but it keeps prices low and all proceeds go to the NHS…

Read more at the link:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/16/feet-nhs-limping-towards-privatisation-podiatry-diabetic-amputations

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