What is “basic foot care”?

Basic foot care can include filing the nails, cleaning and moisturizing the skin, and providing patient information and education. Basic foot care can be provided by the health care team, for patients in the hospital, residents in Long Term Care or clients in Home Care as part of the over-all bathing and grooming care they receive; at no cost to the patient. The team members providing basic foot care are not required to have extra training or education to provide this care.

What is “post-basic foot care”?

Post-basic foot care may include treatments like cutting thickened nails and managing corns and calluses, as well as comprehensive assessment of the foot and lower leg and providing patient information and education. Post-basic foot care should only be provided by a professional with specialized training and education, like a Foot Care Nurse (this extra training and education allows the Nurse to use this title).

Is post-basic foot care covered by my provincial health plan?

Post-basic foot care is not an insured service in Manitoba. This means a foot care appointment with a Foot Care Nurse is not “covered” by the provincial health system. However, some insurance plans (for example, Blue Cross) may provide coverage for foot care services. Additionally, veterans may be able to claim this expense through the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and some First Nations communities offer this service to their community members.

What is “skin and wound care of the foot”?

At times, people require nursing or other care for sores, wounds or other problems with their feet; this is known as “skin and wound care”. This level of care for feet requires an assessment by a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner who will send a referral and an order to Home Care or Primary Care. This level of skin and wound care is an insured service in Manitoba and is covered by the provincial health system.  Skin and wound care of the foot does not include treatments like cutting thickened nails and managing corns and calluses which are the treatments a Foot Care Nurse offers during an appointment. Upon resolution of the wound of the foot, Home Care will conclude services and will refer back to the Foot Care Nurse if required.

Who would benefit from post-basic foot care from a specially trained Foot Care Nurse?

Individuals with conditions such as Diabetes, Peripheral Vascular Disease (poor circulation) or Peripheral Neuropathy (decreased feeling) would benefit from post-basic foot care. This is because conditions like these, along with many other conditions and factors, may put an individual at high risk for complications with their feet. The Foot Care Nurse uses their expertise to create a plan of care with the client to treat any current issues with the feet, and ideally to prevent any other complications from happening.

References:    WRHA (click to download)
                            College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba (click to download)