Diabetes amputations avoidable say MPs

By Editor
19th March 2014
Footcare, Inpatient Latest news

Hundreds of people with diabetes might have had limbs removed unnecessarily due to differences in treatment in various locations, according to politicians.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Vascular Disease has highlighted patients in the south west are almost twice as likely to be given amputations as those with the same problem in London.

Neil Carmichael, Conservative MP for Stroud, who chairs the parliamentary group, said: “Too many patients aren’t getting the treatment they need to avoid losing their legs. The figures for parts of the south-west of England are particularly alarming, and this needs to be tackled.”

The statistics gathered from NHS reports and freedom of information requests showed there were 4.7 amputations per thousand people in the south west compared to 1.94 per thousand in London.

A lack of planning for patients has been highlighted as an issue with Clinical Commissioning Groups without a dedicated patient pathway having 11 per cent more amputations on average than those with one.

Nikki Joule, Diabetes UK policy manager, said: “This report highlights the unacceptable variation of care across the UK when it comes to diabetic foot care and amputation rates.

“For someone with diabetes, getting the right footcare is essential. This includes having an annual foot check and being referred to a foot protection service if you are at increased risk of a foot attack.

“Up to 80 per cent of amputations are avoidable with good preventative foot care in the community and fast access to a specialist multidisciplinary team when needed.”

The Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group has said new footcare services will start next month.

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