Text messages help to save Oldham man’s feet

A man from Springhead has praised a text message reminder system, recommended by a local health service, for helping him to keep all his toes.

Shane HoldsworthShane Holdsworth, is a regular user of the Oldham Podiatry Service because of complications caused by having diabetes.

Shane’s diabetes can prevent sweating in his feet, causing them to go dry. It can also cause neuropathy - a lack of feeling, which means any damage may go unnoticed.

Shane said: “Previously I tended to neglect my feet, which caused problems as they would crack or get ulcerated.”

This would mean several trips to see a podiatrist for treatment over a couple of months and a hospital admission, which caused problems with work and other commitments.

He said: “It’s far too time consuming and I just wanted to manage my feet better myself to see if I could do anything to proactively help.

“I’m really worried and don’t want my feet to go any worse – I don’t want to lose any toes, which is a real risk.”

The service recommended using FLO, a text message reminder system, to help Shane to self-manage his condition and learn when to spot a potential issue.

Shane said: “It’s a great idea; it’s only a text once a day and it helps me get into the habit of regularly checking my feet.

“The big difference is that now I’ll spot when the slightest thing comes up and I can get it checked before it becomes a bigger problem.”

Debra DruryDebra Drury is a Clinical Specialist Podiatrist with Oldham Podiatry Service.

She said: “FLO is a constant reminder to patients about the education we give them throughout their treatment. It gives prompts to check their feet regularly and get in touch at the first signs of concern.

“We’ve seen an early success of using FLO with Shane, but we now want more of that success, so patients can get on with their lives and fulfil their potential.”

Oldham Podiatry Service has also developed a video on the use of FLO, which is available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPPxh94GSho

For more information about Oldham Podiatry Service, visit: www.penninecare.nhs.uk/oldhampodiatry