Development of a Podiatrist designed foot health screening package for nurses within Community renal units. A collaborative approach to care

Ms Kelsey Cook1

1Canberra Health Services, ,

Background and aims

Renal disease which requires people to have haemodialysis is a risk factor for poor foot health which can lead to ulceration, gangrene and amputation. Prevention of these poor outcomes requires early identification and appropriate management through regular foot screening.

The aim of this quality improvement project was for Community Podiatry at Canberra Health Services to develop a foot screening education package to upskill nursing staff at the community renal units.

How was the project conducted?

A foot health screen of 5 patients in the renal unit was conducted by a Podiatrist to gain baseline information about the current foot health risk and if they are accessing a Podiatry service. This screening identified that there were patients at high risk of foot ulceration not currently linked with a Podiatry service. Two of these patients had limb threatening conditions that the staff were not aware of requiring urgent Specialist referral.

A training package was developed in collaboration with the nursing team and was delivered in two sessions which was comprised of theory followed by a practical skills session.

The outcomes of your activity 

A follow-up foot screening session was conducted 3 months post-training to confirm that the patients were still being correctly assessed and that there were appropriate referrals in place for Podiatry care. Of the 5 patients re-assessed, all were identified at the appropriate foot risk status and were accessing a Podiatry service. This has demonstrated that the training made a positive change to the patient’s safety of the renal unit.


Kelsey is a Senior Podiatrist at the Community Care team with Canberra Health Services. Kelsey qualified from Charles Sturt University in 2013 and has spent the majority of her career working in the field of diabetes and amputation prevention. She has been lucky enough to work in some of the most remote parts of Central Queensland where she witnessed first-hand the importance of multidisciplinary care and a diversified clinical skill set. Kelsey completed her Graduate Certificate in Diabetes Education in 2018 through Deakin University with the aim to enhance clinical care of people with diabetes. She uses this knowledge to increase empower her patients to make informed decisions about their health. Her passion for promoting the Podiatry profession and teaching other Health Professionals about how they can reduce the risk of amputation for their patients lead to the development of this collaborative project.

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