The number of patients requiring diabetes-related amputations in England has reached its highest ever level
The number of patients requiring diabetes-related amputations in England has reached its highest ever level, with 20 a day now requiring treatment.
New figures, released by Diabetes UK and based on data from Public Health England, show that the number of amputations arising from diabetes-related complications is now 7,370 a year. The previous figure was 7,042.
Since their release, the figures have prompted new calls for improved foot care and experts have estimated that as many as four out of five amputations could even be avoided.
Of the amputations that do occur, 80 per cent begin as foot ulcers and are largely avoidable if they are detected early enough.
But while the charity has managed to help cause a drop in the nation’s major amputation rate since 2012, it voiced concern over the difference in rates across the country, with a gap between the best and worst performing areas continuing to widen.
Major amputation is surgery to the limb above the ankle.
And data suggests that some NHS trusts are 10 times more likely than others to resort to an amputation than others.
The areas more successful in tackling diabetes-related amputation have shown that they were continually able to lower the rates of amputation, while those who were performing poorly had not made progress in the last year.
The charity has now called for ‘targeted action’ to help address the disparity.
New figures, released by Diabetes UK, show that the number of amputations arising from diabetes-related complications has gone up
Chris Askew, the chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: ‘The fact that the total number of amputations is continuing to rise is a huge concern.
‘We know the devastating impact they have on people’s lives as well as the huge cost to the NHS, yet we are not seeing action happening quickly enough across all areas of the country to address this.
‘We have seen some areas making real efforts to improve the poor state of diabetes footcare, but these figures are a stark reminder that there is still so much more to be done, especially with regard to significant variation from GP practices and between different health areas.
‘It’s a travesty that good quality foot care is a postcode lottery. People need to be getting the right care in the right place at the right time now.’