Welcome to ‘ A bit about Factsheets for patients’.

The website ConsultingFootPain features fact sheets and patient information bringing useful facts about the five main foot problems which I refer to as ‘the big five’. Read what makes a good factsheet click here (see article to be released 25th April 2020). The following factsheets can be found on my website. Most services these days will provide either a stock fact sheet printed by a professional body or by an in-house printed 

What should you ask from a fact sheet?
Risks and Impact fact sheet 2018
Bunion joint fact sheet No.1 2018
Rigid toe joint fact sheet No.3 2018
Patient feedback on bunions (surgery)
Neuroma Pain No.4 2018
Consent guide 40.2
Top Tips for the Winter 

If you cannot find the information sheet you desire, please contact me at davidt@busypencilcase.com  or myfootjourneys.com and I will either find you the information or write one for you for free.

My motto is ‘Progress through the Art of Communication’

The Big Five

Bunion, hammer toe, Rigid toe jointneuroma, and ingrowing toenail. Many other conditions overlap but carry less significance. The data is based on diagnostic referrals from GPs to (podiatric) surgeons

Reliable sources other than professional bodies

The reliance on websites will become the goal of website drivers and so the click (on blue text) button or hyperlink is the valuable currency for swift access. The National Institute for Health Care Excellence or  N.I.C.E website is an open resource covering evidence about treatment, although as a national funded database and website, information can slide out of date as it takes a while to review scientific data. NHS Choices also offers useful information and then you can use YouTube. As a guide, information older than 5 years may have to be viewed cautiously although it should not be dismissed outright. www.FootEducation.com is one of the best sites when it comes to surgery. The value of patient information otherwise varies enormously on professional sites. 

Fact sheets provide data, hard statistics, and values to relate to while information sheets may include facts and broader descriptions. In reality, it is difficult to write about every single procedure and so clinically we do our best to provide the most accurate impression of expectations. Recently I have added patient journeys to my literature and hope this trend might grow from my pen and from others. Patients telling their story is powerful in a way no clinician can represent. There is a balance between downplaying risks and impact against the benefits of success and treading a narrow pathway of providing information upon which patient decisions are made is an ever growing task of complexity. Today it is the patient who must decide what pathway to travel and as clinicians, we must avoid being over persuasive. The bulk of information should be provided before treatment commences and it is important for all of us, patients and clinicians to ensure those risks, no matter how small are included.

Fact sheets versus general information

I would make a distinction between factsheets and general information. Here is my take. You want to travel from Birmingham to London. Facts about that journey include the time it takes, cost, services available en route, the speed you might travel, options first, second class. These are all fixed, known although might have variables or ranges; 95 – 120 minutes.

General information will provide you with how you might get there with some options and perhaps could include the dos and dont’s associated with travel, how to connect to the internet once you are on the train and discuss the type of food and drinks available. Alternative choices might include road travel, flight as well as train. Most likely the general information will include some of the facts and so the material could broaden. Specific information might be used, for example, one person might use a particular type of treatment where others do not, so the information is governed by the limitations of individual practice experience, past results associated with what works well.

Dialogue is still important

Fact sheets do not and cannot tell the whole story but they do provide a flavour. They do not represent choices alone.

Factsheets do not always tell you about alternative treatment. Can you make a decision to proceed to treatment (especially surgery)? In accordance with current legal views, it is important to have the information explained so that dialogue exists. Reading the information and returning to a clinical office to go through those points is better than written information alone. A patient should be encouraged to return to the clinic before interventions to ensure all is understood. I have always encouraged my patients to write down their queries to avoid forgetfulness.

Of course, minor interventions do not always require much preamble.  In this case, choices would be limited, risks and impact minimal and the overall understanding would have less complexity. Examples might include injections to dull pain or simple remedial toenail management.

 Patient journeys available from Amazon books

as electronic publication / Kindle and paperback

Bunion. Hallux Valgus. Behind the scenes.

‘This warts and all approach provides some very honest frank and practical information…’ Jackie (patient) West Midlands

Morton’s neuroma. Podiatrist Turned Patient: My Own Journey.

‘Wonderful book!! So helpful and not all medical jargon that you can’t understand. Would recommend this highly to anyone who is about to undergo this kind of surgery.’ James (patient).

Click the icon or here to go to the Amazon site

Thanks for reading ‘Introduction to Factsheets’ written by David Tollafield

Revised and reissued 21 April 2020

Published by Busypencilcase Communications Ltd Est. 2015