What is triaging?
Dictionary definition: (in medical use) the assignment of degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment of a large number of patients or casualties.
We have been told to delay all non-urgent routine low risk patients.
We have been told that we are able offer treatment to patients who are high-risk and need to be treated, if it is safe and appropriate for us to do so.
This is to prevent them from developing other problems/conditions (septic wounds, Sepsis, critical limb, etc.) that may land them in bigger trouble.
We need to do this to prevent them needing to access hospitals that may not have capacity or facilities to help them.
Simple Podiatry measures have been shown to prevent serious complications in many patients e.g. diabetes, cancer, etc.
So, we are triaging patients in three ways:
- Do you have symptoms or could you have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19
- What are your underlying medical risk factors that make you vulnerable if you contract Covid-19
- What Podiatric pathologies do you have that could land them in trouble if we delay your treatment
At the end of the triage we gain your verbal consent (or not):
- You agree and happy to follow triage outcome
- You disagree and not happy to follow triage outcome and may be advised to seek another Podiatrists opinion
We do not advise you to contact NHS 111 unless appropriate to do so – NHS 111 is inundated and needs to be protected from panicking people who don’t need to access that service at this time.
Please note: we are changing this form as we test it and realise it needs improvement – so this is only the most recent version and we expect to adapt it and change it as we need to. It is based on the NHS website, COP guidance and my clinical reasoning.
We are triaging our patients as we have a legal duty of care to you and by triaging, we are acting in your best interests. This is because we must determine:
- What your level of vulnerability is to Covid-19
- What your medical risks are
- What your Podiatric risks are
- Are they safe to delay or do we need to make provision for some sort of treatment
Unfortunately, we must not treat any of our patients in our clinics who are confirmed or suspected of having infectious Covid-19. These patients will therefore be referred to NHS 111 for any care need they have. This is to preserve the clinical environment and to protect ourselves and other patients.