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Diabetic foot care - a postcode lottery?

Lawyer specialising in amputation claims backs calls for improved diabetes care

Legt leg amputee

1 September 2016

Medical negligence lawyer Sanja Strkljevic has voiced her concerns following the publication of figures from Diabetes UK which show that the number of diabetes-related amputations in England has reached 20 a day, and that the standard of foot care for people with the disease in the UK is inconsistent.

Diabetes UK analysed data from Public Health England showing that every year 7,370 diabetes-related amputations are carried out. The most recent figures available relate to 2013 – 2014.This compares with previous figures of 7, 042.

Sanja said: “It is worrying that the number of amputations continues to rise, despite the efforts made by organisations such as Diabetes UK to raise awareness of the complications of the condition.”

Diabetes is a leading cause of lower limb amputation, the NHS calculates that people with diabetes are 15 times more likely to undergo amputation that people without.

People living with diabetes can help to prevent the threat of amputation with simple foot care routines. However, these recent figures show that there are variation rates between the best and worst performing areas in England when it comes to diabetic foot care.

Some areas are making real efforts in improving the standard of care, though there remain significant variations from GP practices and between different health areas.

This has led to experts at Diabetes UK suggesting that good quality foot care seems to be a postcode lottery.  

Sanja Strkljevic, medical negligence specialist at Leigh Day remains concerned by this discrepancy.  She comments:

“Given that complications from diabetes, including foot complications are so well documented and given how devastating the outcome can be for a patient, I am surprised that there are such discrepancies in the standards of foot care.  

“Diabetic foot disease is still the most common cause of hospital admissions associated with the condition.  The number of amputations is on the rise for a number of reasons.  What cannot be underestimated is that experts estimate that with good diabetes healthcare and support, four out of five amputations could be prevented.

“I fully support the call from Diabetes UK on the Government and NHS to improve foot care, particularly in areas of England where amputation rates are getting worse.”

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