Martin Fox from Manchester Leg Circulation Service wins national Allied Health Professionals Award

Martin Fox winner small
Martin Fox from Manchester Leg Circulation Service wins national Allied Health Professionals Award
12 October 2017

VASCULAR specialist podiatrist Martin Fox from the Manchester leg circulation service has won a national Allied Health Professional award for demonstrating workforce transformation leadership.

The award was presented at the 2017 Chief Allied Health Professional Officer Conference in recognition of the transformational leadership work around the early diagnosis and best clinical treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD), that Martin and colleagues from North Manchester have pioneered. The award acknowledged the impact the team has made on raising awareness of this common and deadly disease and the transformational changes they have influenced locally, regionally and nationally, with podiatrists and other clinicians who assess and treat lower limb conditions.

Over the last eight years Martin and his colleagues Louise Stuart, Lisa Smith-Burgess, Susan Matthews, Debbie Ruff and Michelle Proudman, have helped shift the paradigm with PAD, from a reactive, late-diagnosis and crisis-management approach, to a proactive, early diagnosis, patient-empowerment model. The emerging clinical partnerships and cooperation they have nurtured between podiatry, vascular and diabetes stakeholders have been instrumental in ensuring successful service redesign, commissioning and strong clinical governance – all fuelled by a shared vision to save more lives and limbs of people with PAD. 

The Manchester leg circulation service has presented at various professional conferences in the UK, Europe and India and has received interested clinicians, podiatrists, physiotherapists and nurses from all over the UK and as far afield as Hong Kong, to look at how they are doing things differently with PAD.  The team has also provided many PAD-related study days and training throughout the UK and in Ireland. 

Martin said: “Ten years ago working as a clinical lead podiatrist with chronic lower limb wound management, I realised that none of the best foot protection teams around the UK had developed clinically proactive and sustainable services for early diagnosis and treatment of peripheral arterial disease – which was underlying many of the chronic wounds, amputations and early deaths we were (and still are) overseeing. We had a culture of ‘gold standard firefighting’ with no effective early intervention strategy. Foot crisis management had become our accepted norm in the NHS. 

“Over the last eight years in North Manchester, with the support of other allied health professionals (podiatrists, orthotists and physiotherapists) and key vascular nurses and surgeons, we have developed one of the few NHS PAD services to actually deliver the best practice defined in the 2012 NICE Guidance (CG147) and the subsequent 2014 Quality Standard (QS52).

“The real challenge now however, which I hope the exposure from this award will help with, is to engage and support interested clinicians in all 200+ CCGs / NHS organisations, to invest in making their next steps towards lower limb service transformation and redesign.”