GCU diabetic foot expertise called on by pharmaceutical companies

18 March 2013

GCU diabetic foot expertise called on by pharmaceutical companies

Diabetic foot expertise at GCU

Glasgow Caledonian University is unique in its research work in the field of diabetes and is leading efforts to tackle the rising problem of diabetes and in particular diabetic foot disease. Complications of diabetes include diabetic neuropathy, which can ultimately lead to ulceration and amputation of the toes, feet and lower limbs.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, over 366 million people have diabetes, a figure which will have risen to 552 million by 2030.

Diabetic foot problems are among the most serious and costly complications of diabetes, with lower limb amputations performed as a result of the disease.

The need for accurate foot risk stratification for patients with diabetes and access to foot clinics is high on the agenda for the Scottish Government and the NHS. The Scottish Diabetes Foot Action Group, supported by the NHS, the Scottish Government and Diabetes UK, has launched a new ‘CPR (Check, Protect, Refer) for Feet’ campaign, which encourages ward staff to check the feet of patients with diabetes admitted to hospital.

Diabetic neuropathy is one of the most common of the long-term complications of diabetes, which could be affecting a good percentage up to 50% of patients. Loss of feeling is a particular risk because it can allow foot injuries to escape notice and treatment.

Glasgow Caledonian University’s Professor of Podiatry Stuart Baird and Christine Skinner are pioneering education and training programmes in the UK, the Middle East, India and Far East and campaigning for greater awareness of the serious effects of the illness. The Middle East and North Africa accounts for 6 of the top 10 countries by diabetes prevalence.

Professor Baird’s expertise in this area has led to work with Pfizer, one of the largest research-based pharmaceutical companies in the world. Pfizer provides medicines for many common illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and for rarer conditions, such as types of cancer that afflict only small numbers of people. The organisation aims to work with the medical community on extensive disease awareness and patient information programmes.

Supported by Pfizer, Professor Baird is delivering workshops on the early identification of risk of diabetic foot disease in Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Dubai to an audience of physicians and surgeons. The GCU expert team has also worked closely with Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company with years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. Professor Baird delivered workshops for GPs and practice nurses in areas which had no screening programmes.