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Our response to Public Health England figures on lower limb amputation

Our response to Public Health England figures on lower limb amputation

Public Health England: Preventing amputations major concern as diabetes numbers rise

Responding to new data released on lower limb amputation, College of Podiatry CEO Steve Jamieson commented:

“Figures released by Public Health England show increasing rates of lower limb amputations in England. We welcome the work of PHE, NHS England and Diabetes UK in publicising this information, which points to a growing epidemic of lower limb amputation. 

“It is important to recognise the essential work that multidisciplinary teams, coordinated by podiatrists, do in providing preventive foot care for people with diabetes. Regular checks on foot health are essential to preventing ulceration, which can lead to amputation. Prevention of foot ulcers has impact on quality of life, survival, and huge cost implications for the NHS. Yet many CCGs around the country have no multidisciplinary foot care provision.

“Research shows that five-year survival rates following lower limb amputation are lower than for breast cancer and prostate cancer. Following a major amputation in diabetes, only around half of patients survive for more than two years. The costs of lower limb amputation to the NHS are between £1.1bn and £1.3bn per year in England. This equates to £1 for every £100 the NHS spends, and amounts to £5.7 million for each Clinical Commissioning Group per year.

“We are deeply concerned at the under-resourcing of podiatric services across CCGs in England. Diabetes will be a growing problem in public health in the future, and has been highlighted as a priority area in the NHS’s long-term plan. The cost savings, and the difference to life quality and survival rates, of high quality multidisciplinary footcare are clear, but podiatrists, a key part of the workforce needed to prevent and treat foot ulcers, are seeing declining numbers. 

“NHS England and Clinical Commissioners must take note of the crisis in long-term provision of podiatric care and recognise that best practice in managing diabetic foot complications requires a multidisciplinary foot health team in each CCG.” 

Clinical Commissioning toolkit: www.improvingdiabeticfootcare.com

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