A new study has highlighted worrying variations in foot amputation rates for diabetes patients across England, with rates for some people being up to 10 times greater in some areas than for others.
Amid concerns that many healthcare professionals are not being trained to identify the risks of foot disease, the research, published in the journal Diabetologia, involved a comparison of lower-leg amputation rates in primary care trusts in England over a three-year period. It also showed that diabetes patients were more than 20 times at more risk of an amputation than the rest of the population, and follows previous research that claimed up to 80 per cent of diabetes-related amputations are avoidable.
One researcher, William Jeffcoate, who is a consultant diabetologist at Nottingham City Hospital, said “Foot disease is very complicated and a single professional hasn’t necessarily got the skills to manage every aspect of it.”
He added “And that’s why I believe that only if you can gather a multi-disciplinary team and make sure that people have rapid access to assessment by such a team, it’s only in that way that we think you can provide the best service.”
Barbara Young, chief executive of the charity Diabetes UK also said “The fact that so many people are needlessly having their feet amputated is a national disgrace. And yet despite the large numbers, awareness of the problem is worryingly low, even among people with the condition.”

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