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Dubbo High Risk Foot Service virtual and in-person outreach

Western NSW Local Health District
Project Added:
24 May 2021
Last updated:
11 November 2022

Dubbo High Risk Foot Service

High Risk Foot Services (HRFSs) offer highly specialised multidisciplinary care for people with diabetes-related foot ulcers and infections. The Dubbo service is the only HRFS in the Western NSW Local Health District (WNSWLHD) and delivers care to a geographically dispersed population. The HRFS offers a hybrid model of virtual and in-person care to people living in the northern sector of WNSWLHD to ensure timely access to appropriate care, close to home and on country.

For people with diabetes, minor injuries (such as cuts and bruises) and stress fractures can rapidly progress to ulcers, infections and amputation. Foot ulceration is one of the leading causes of hospitalisation for people with diabetes. It is estimated that on average, almost one in five people with type 2 diabetes are at risk of foot ulceration.

WNSWLHD is geographically the largest local health district (LHD) in NSW. At 246,676 square kilometres, it covers 31% of NSW and provides healthcare to a population of over 278,759. Like many rural and remote regions in NSW, WNSWLHD experiences significant challenges in employing a specialist rural workforce to support the health needs of its communities. High risk foot clinicians are highly specialised: there are a limited number of podiatrists employed within NSW Health and just one high risk foot skilled podiatrist in WNSWLHD. The WNSWLHD HRFS was established in 2018 as an outpatient service at Dubbo Base Hospital.

The HRFS provides specialised, multidisciplinary management of diabetes-related foot conditions to people living across WNSWLHD. In 2019 the HRFS began delivering virtual services to the northern sector of the LHD. These services are critical to improving access for those living in these remote regions of the district.

The HRFS is also an important service offering for Aboriginal people in the region, as 13% of the population of the WNSWLHD identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. Rates of diabetes related foot amputations are much higher in Aboriginal people (53.9 per 100,000 populations) than in non-Aboriginal people (12.7 per 100,000 populations). The Dubbo HRFS aims to deliver appropriate and culturally responsive care for Aboriginal people.

This report focuses on the provision of a hybrid model of in-person and virtual outreach clinics to four remote sites in the northern sector of WNSWLHD.

Download Virtual Care: Dubbo High Risk Foot Service - PDF

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