Man’s thanks to clinic for ‘saving foot’

Anthony Aspden says attending a pilot IV antibiotics scheme saved his foot.
Anthony Aspden says attending a pilot IV antibiotics scheme saved his foot.

A man from Staining has kept his best foot forward thanks to a pilot scheme at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Anthony Aspden, a self-employed decorator, faced losing his foot because of a serious bone infection that regular antibiotics were not treating.

Doctors said the may have to amputate his foot, but first referred Anthony, 32, for intravenous antibiotics at the COMMIT (Community or Home IV Therapy) service.

It allows patients to have IV treatment either at a clinic or in their own homes, saving them having to attend hospital for the duration of their treatment – which can sometimes take months.

Anthony attended South Shore Primary Care Centre once a day for around half an hour.

He said: “Tablets didn’t seem to work as well as they should for me and if something wasn’t done my foot would be amputated. That would have probably been the end of my career.

“My last hope was IV treatment which would have meant a long stay in hospital where I would have to claim benefits due to not being able to work. Fortunately I was referred on to the COMMIT service. It meant that I could carry on working instead of sitting in hospital getting more and more in debt from taking time off.

“Now my foot is pretty much all sorted. I’ve been discharged from the scheme after four months of treatment and I can’t thank the doctor and nurses enough.”

COMMIT was set up in June 2012 as a pilot scheme to reduce admissions and freeing up beds within the hospital. It has helped more than 225 patients and saved nearly 2,960 bed days for Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Dr Achyut Guleri, consultant microbiologist and head of pathology at The Vic said: “We wanted to take the treatment closer to the patients in the community and offer them quality care through IV treatment either at a community based clinic or within their own home.

“A couple of nurses in the clinic can manage four patients at a time, quadrupling the number of patients we can offer IV treatment. We are now a unique community based IV therapy service offering both the option to attend a clinic or receive treatment at home.”

The pilot has attracted the attention of national NHS directors and it is hoped it will become a permanent service.