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Thursday 27th October 2016

NHS foot-care services lacking

20th August 2007

A national charity says older people are being left housebound and disabled by a lack of NHS foot-care services in England.

Age Concern claims a third of over-65s cannot cut their own toe-nails and struggle to access NHS services.

The charity says that much of the footcare needed by older people is as basic as nail cutting or foot hygiene but many have conditions such as arthritis that mean they can no longer reach their own toes.

In its Feet for Purpose campaign, Age Concern said older people were waiting longer for footcare services with some having to pay privately or seek treatment through charities.

The organisation warns that lack of even the most basic foot care puts the elderly at risk of complications that lead to falls, restrictions on mobility and social isolation.

Age Concern director general Gordon Lishman said as well as cases of people cutting their nails with gardening shears, people had also resorted to kicking solid walls in their bare feet to break their nails.

He added: “This would have been unacceptable in 1948 when the NHS was created, and it is certainly unacceptable nearly 60 years later. Foot-care services should be free and universally available to those who need them - yet increasingly in many parts of England they are being restricted or withdrawn.?

He called for the Department of Health to include chiropody in the NHS maximum waiting time target of 18 weeks.

The Department of Health said it recognised the importance of the provision of chiropody services to older people.


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