Yesterday across the UK and at the Diabetes UK conference in Glasgow, the Putting Feet First campaign was launched to highlight the problems of diabetic foot disease. An estimated £700 million is spent each year in England to treat foot ulcers and amputations in diabetic patients.
To reduce the financial cost as well as the emotional cost to the 6000 people in England suffering from amputations every year, the national Diabetes charity is looking for the UK to take the following four steps:
1. People with diabetes should know how to look after their feet and what to expect from their health service.
2. Local health services need to provide an integrated footcare pathway with fast and appropriate referrals and better assessment and management of diabetic foot disease.
3. Health care professionals should be more aware of the risk of diabetic foot disease and provide annual foot checks.
4. A national diabetes implementation plan should be put into place with all aspects of diabetes care monitored.
Diabetes UK estimates that more than 7000 people will have an amputation in England in 2014 despite these resulting from treatable causes. Most diabetes-related amputations are caused by an un-noticed foot ulcer which has failed to heal. It is estimated that around 70,000 people in the UK are suffering from a foot ulcer at any given time.