Diabetes patients in Sheffield suffer from one of the highest rates of limb amputations in the country, according to new figures from the National Diabetes Information Service.
The worrying statistics show that 3.2 lower limb amputations for every 1,000 diabetic patients were carried out in Sheffield between April 2009 and March 2012, compared to the national average of 2.6 per 1,000 patients.
This means that almost a third more limbs are lost to diabetes-related neuropathy and circulatory problems in the South Yorkshire city than elsewhere in the UK.
Linda Wood, regional manager for charity group Diabetes UK, said: “It is deeply worrying that the diabetes-related amputation rate in Sheffield is one of the highest in the country. Every amputation is a tragedy, as losing a foot is extremely traumatic and has a devastating impact on quality of life.”
“This is why we want Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group to take urgent action to deliver the kind of improvements to diabetes foot care in the area that could bring down the amputation rate.”
She added: “We will be campaigning for change in Sheffield until people in the area finally get the quality foot care they deserve. Unless foot care improves we are likely to continue to see amputations that could have been avoided.
The Sheffield CCG said it has recently launched a new programme as part of new amputation-tackling measures, and stressed that “improvements are already being realised.”
Rachel Gillot, the group’s deputy director of operations, said, “NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group is committed to working with healthcare partners to make improvements in diabetes foot care.”
“This includes a recently launched new Foot Care Pathway and dedicated phone line for diagnosing and fast tracking urgent diabetic feet referrals which requires Sheffield patients to be referred and seen within 24 hours.”
Diabetes is one the leading causes of amputation of the lower limbs, which is why all people who have diabetes are required to have annual foot check-ups as a part of their diabetes care routine.

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