Who We Are
The Fife Podiatry Diabetes service is a team of highly specialist Podiatrists, who provide a Fife-wide service to adults with diabetes. Our service includes advice, assessment, diagnosis and we provide support and treatment for a wide variety of foot problems and wounds which may result as a complication of your diabetes.
People with diabetes are at a much greater risk of developing foot problems due to the way diabetes affects your circulation and foot sensitivity. If you have bad circulation and/or the feeling in your feet is not good this can increase the chances of you having a foot ulceration. Sometimes ulcerations do not heal and can lead to you having an amputation.
If your diabetes is poorly controlled you run a greater risk of nerve damage (neuropathy) and poor circulation, both of which increase your chances of amputation. Your circulation is also badly affected by high blood pressure, a high fat diet and in particular smoking. Managing these risk factors will reduce your foot risk.
If you manage your diabetes well and look after your feet you can reduce the risk of having any foot problems. Your local Podiatrist can support you and advise you about what you should do to look after your feet, what to look out for and what to do should you be concerned about any foot changes.
More information about how diabetes affects your feet can be obtained at:
Children with Diabetes and a Foot Problem
Most foot complaints in children are not as a complication of their diabetes. For this reason people with diabetes under 18 years of age are seen in the NHS Fife Podiatry Children and Young Peoples Service. Please click on our menu at the side of this page for our Children and Young Peoples Podiatry page.
NHS Fife Podiatry do not offer a simple nail cutting service.
We know that people with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing problems with their feet, so we encourage you to make sure you check your feet properly everyday so that any problems or breaks in the skin can be dealt with quickly by contacting your local Podiatrist.
NHS Scotland podiatry managers have agreed that the provision of personal footcare does not require the specialist skills of a podiatrist. Please see the NHS Scotland Personal Footcare Guidance for more information.
Personal footcare is part of a personal hygiene routine for feet and covers a set of tasks that an adult, whatever their age, would normally do for themselves if they are able to:
NHS Fife has created a Personal Footwear DVD which can help you to take care of your daily foot health. Please click on the version you wish to view.
Footcare Fife is a low cost, confidential safe and supportive service which is delivered by volunteers who are trained in personal footcare. This project is supported by NHS Fife and is run by Fife Voluntary Action. Please contact James on 0800 389 6046 for more information on where this service is offered. Please see publications below to view the Footcare Fife Poster.
Simple Steps For Healthy Feet – We Can Help You To Look After Your Feet!
- Check your feet every day to ensure there are no breaks in the skin and the skin is in good condition – look for any colour changes, hard skin build up or changes in the shape of your feet that may make it difficult to get shoes that fit.
- If you cannot see your feet ask someone else to check them for you but also become familiar with how your feet feel when they are in good condition so that you can feel any changes with your hands.
- Cut and / or file toe nails regularly to avoid skin damage
- Do not use corn removing plasters or blades as these can damage healthy skin
- Apply a moisturiser daily all over feet and heels avoiding between the toes
- Apply surgical spirit between the toes using cotton wool or cotton bud if this area is moist or prone to cracking
- Ensure footwear is supportive and well fitting
- Always shake out footwear before putting them on to make sure there is nothing inside the shoe which could cause damage
- Avoid socks or hosiery with seams that can irritate the skin. Tight fitting elastic top socks should also be avoided because they may restrict the circulation. Try to buy ‘soft tops’ which are kinder to the tissues and provide more room
- Know who to call if you find you have a foot problem. Keep the telephone number in an easy to access place. Do not delay in contacting Podiatry if you have any foot concerns.
Top Tips That Will Also Reduce Your Risk of Foot Problems
- If you smoke, get support to help you stop. Smoking affects your circulation and increases your risk of developing serious foot problems. You can contact the Fife Stop Smoking Service on 0800 025 3000
- Keep good control of your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in fat, sugar and salt, and contains more fruit and vegetables.
- If you are able to, take regular exercise, for example a brisk walk each day.
If I Have A Foot Problem – How Do I See A Podiatrist?
Members of the public can self-refer to the Podiatry Service.
To complete an electronic self referral please click here. The completed referral will then be submitted directly to the service. The forms are completely secure and confidential. The service will respond within 14 days. Contact 01592 647199 (Mon-Fri 08.00-16.30) with your reference number if no contact has been made by the service within this time.
Paper referrals can also be picked up from your local clinic, health centre and GP Practice or printed out using the link below. A new patient appointment letter will be sent by post to you once your referral has been triaged and accepted for treatment. In the event that your referral is not accepted or further information is required to process your referral you will be contacted either by telephone or letter.
I Have Injured My Foot What Do I Do?
An injury or foot ulceration on the foot of a person who has altered foot sensation or reduced circulation is a foot complication that needs attention as soon as possible. The injury may start as a small blister or cut but this can quickly develop into a foot ulcer or result in an amputation.
You may not have felt the injury happen because you have lost some of the feeling in your feet (neuropathy). Please contact your local podiatry clinic or diabetes specialist podiatrist on the contact details below.
What are the danger signs?
- Is your foot red, warm and / or swollen?
- Is there a break in the skin or any discharge or oozing?
- Do you have any of the above and feel unwell with flu-like symptoms or shivering?
Remember if you have some nerve damage you may not feel any pain or discomfort even if a wound is present. It is therefore vital you check your feet every day. If you notice any of these signs please contact your local podiatry clinic or diabetes specialist podiatrist on the contact details below.
If no-one is available over the weekend or public holidays and there is no sign of healing after one day, go to your nearest out-of-hours healthcare service or your local A&E or minor injuries department.
When you see your local Podiatrist they will discuss with you how the problem has happened and discuss ways to prevent it happening again. This may include footwear advice, information about looking after your feet, advice about stopping smoking and diabetes self management.
If the wound needs more specialist help they will refer you to one of the Diabetes Specialist Podiatrists. From here you may be referred to other members of the foot health team such as the Orthotist, GP, Diabetes Consultant, Diabetes Specialist Nurse, Practice Nurse and/or Vascular Services.
In-Patients And Diabetic Footcare
If you are in hospital you should bring with you, as part of your toiletries, whatever you use at home as part of your personal footcare regime. This may include, nail clippers, nail file and a moisturiser for your feet. If you are discovered to have a foot problem whilst you are an in-patient the ward staff will get in touch with Podiatry and arrange for you to be seen.
CPR For Feet
An important part of your in-patient care is that you should have your feet checked upon admission and if there is a risk that you may have a pressure sore on your feet then devices to reduce the risk of skin damage will be put in place. If there are any concerns or, there is already some tissue damage, then Podiatry will be contacted. This is in keeping with a national initiative from the Scottish Foot Action Group called CPR for Diabetic Feet. CPR stands for Check, Protect and Refer. For more information please see publications below.
Being aware of the changes in your feet and being able to carry out your own foot care is an important part of looking after your diabetes. It is also important to know when to attend podiatry for support to prevent and treat any foot problems that may arise. To support you to do this we have provided a range of links and web sites which will provide you with information to support your self-management. Foot screening and group education sessions are also good ways to find out any other pieces of advice and support which will help.
Diabetic foot screening appointments: - At these appointments you will have the blood supply to your feet checked by feeling the clinician palpating the pulses in your feet. Your foot sensitivity will also be established by touching your skin with a nylon thread (monofilament) and a machine which vibrates called a neurothesiometer. You will be provided personalised foot care advice and information regarding your nearest community and hospital Podiatry clinic to contact should you have any foot concerns or problems.
Diabetic Footsteps is a small group education session where people with diabetes can discuss the effect of diabetes on their feet and chat together about how they can best look after their feet to avoid problems. The discussions are tailored to meet the learning needs of the group. The session is based around the group’s personal experiences and builds upon their existing knowledge.
If you would like to attend one of the sessions, give your details to your local Podiatrist and you will be contacted when dates for classes are available.
Your first point of contact is your local Podiatry Clinic (please see our list of podiatry clinics below in publications) or contact a member of the Podiatry Diabetes Specialist team from the numbers below:-
Dunfermline & West Fife
Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes & Levemouth
|North East Fife|
|Queen Margaret Hospital||Whytemans Brae Hospital||Ladybank Clinic|
|Whitefield Road||Level 3, Outpatients 7||Commercial Road|
|Dunfermline||Whytemans Brae, Kirkcaldy||Ladybank|
|KY12 0SU||KY1 2ND||KY15 7JS|
|T: 01383 627079||T: 01592 645268||T: 01337 832104|
|Diabetes Centre, Victoria Hospital|
|T: 01592 643355 ext 28360|
Please see below a list of related websites that may support your foot health and self management