The number of diabetes-related amputation in England has reached an all-time high of 20 a day, according to a new analysis.
Diabetes UK says there is an alarming difference in the quality of care seen across the country, and while the best-performing areas have consistently reduced their amputation rates, the worst performing areas have made no improvements.
Experts say that around 80% of diabetes-related amputations are preventable. Many amputations are caused by foot ulcers, which are avoidable and easy to treat if they are found early enough.
Using Public Health England figures, the charity discovered that there are now 7,370 amputations a year - which is considerably more than the earlier figure of 7,042.
Diabetes UK has called for the Government and the NHS to improve diabetes foot care, especially in the areas where the amputation rates are stagnant or in some cases, getting worse.
Data shows that some NHS trusts are 10 times more likely than others to resort to an amputation than others.
Chris Askew, Diabetes UK chief executive, had this to say: "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.
"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."
Robert Carew-Hunt is a former Foreign Office diplomat who suffers from Type 2 diabetes. Since he was diagnosed with it, over 12 years ago, he has suffered several serious infections in his feet - and specialists at St George’s Hospital in south London has no choice but to amputate his left leg below the knee after attempting at first to cut off one toe at a time.
Robert had this to say: "There's a tendency to think if I control my blood sugars well, nothing bad will happen. That isn't the case, unfortunately."
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