There are a wide variety of amputation rates in diabetes patients in England, a new report has revealed. The figures, published by the Department of Health, show that the rate of major amputations in the South West of England is nearly twice as high as that of the South East.
However, with over 70 major amputations undertaken every week on type 2 diabetes patients in England, the charity Diabetes UK has claimed that four fifths of these operations are potentially preventable.
Barbara Young, the chief executive of Diabetes UK, commented “The existing situation around foot care and amputations is shocking, given the that the majority of amputations can be prevented.”
The information about amputations has been released as part of the government’s atlas of care programme involving 34 ‘maps’ of healthcare around the country. The atlas presents details about key treatments for many serious conditions, such as heart disease, stroke and asthma, and found large differences regarding the percentage of diabetics who are receiving the key checks for monitoring their condition.
Lord Howe, the Minister for Health, also said “Making this information available will help to identify and address unwarranted variation to better meet the needs of their local populations.” Some experts argue that reducing the variations and prioritising medical treatments supported by evidence could help the NHS make necessary savings.

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