A recent study has indicated that diabetes amputation rates can be up to ten times higher in some regions in England than others.
It is estimated that diabetes related amputations cost the NHS £120 million per year and the Department of Health believe that amputation rates are too high in some areas. Experts point out the differing rates highlight the importance of getting the right specialist care.
The study looked at amputation rates in local Primary Care Trusts over the three years. There are over 6,000 amputations related to diabetes every year in the UK and diabetics are 20 times more likely to have an amputation.
Damage to nerves and blood vessels can lead to an amputation and extremities such as the feet are the worst affected. However, with the correct care, amputation can be avoided.
Previous research has suggested that the correct care could reduce the level of amputations by as much as 80%.
A recent report on the cost of foot ulcers and amputations in England has suggested that if the NHS were to set up specialist foot care teams, the savings to the cost of treating ulcers and amputations would be worth around six times the cost of setting up the teams, and the care could transform the lives of many patients.
Diabetes UK have launched a new national campaign, following the recent date. Called ‘Putting Feet First,’ the campaign has set a target of reducing amputations by 50% within 5 years. The campaign urges patients, ministers and the NHS to take foot care seriously.