Research has found that diabetic patients in England either don't have a specialist foot care team in their area or there are long delays in getting an appointment. Without proper reviews and foot care, the risk of developing serious conditions such as amputation significantly increases.
We often receive enquiries about poor diabetic care which materially worsened the patient's outcome, and in some cases has resulted in toe, foot or leg amputation.
More should be done, and more can be done. It has been reassuring to read that certain Somerset hospitals and GPs have set up a ‘diabetes foot pathway’ to provide medical care to diabetic patients as soon as possible. There is a 24-hour referral system and specialist training implemented for podiatrists/nurses/doctors. As a result Somerset has seen a 43% reduction in amputations. A very positive example for other areas in England.
There are more than 20 leg, foot or toe amputations each day and most of these result from a diabetic foot ulcer. Today, around 60-75,000 people with diabetes experience a foot ulcer. That’s roughly the same as the whole population of Boston, Lincolnshire.