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Sunday 25th August 2019

Diabetes-related foot amputations could be avoided

25th February 2013

A report by Diabetes UK has found as many as eight in 10 foot amputations caused by diabetes could be avoided if they were treated more quickly.


The report, Fast Track For A Foot Attack: Reducing Amputations, said 8,000 people every year had to have a foot amputated because diabetes-caused foot ulcers had not been treated.

The charity said the amount of amputations related to diabetes increased from 5,700 in 2009-10 to over 6,000 in 2010-11. This figure is predicted to top 7,000 by 2015.

The report was created with the Society for Chiropodists and Podiatrists and NHS Diabetes and is aimed at reducing the fact that diabetics have a 20 times higher likelihood of having an amputation than the general population.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "It is unacceptable that every single week people with diabetes who have treatable foot problems are having feet or toes amputated because they are not being treated quickly enough." 

"If every hospital had a multi-disciplinary footcare team and ensured access to that team within 24 hours, then that would make a huge difference to the amputation rates. We also need to make sure people with diabetes are getting a thorough annual foot check and then those at high risk of amputation are given the help they need to prevent them."


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Wendy Lawrence

Wednesday 27th February 2013 @ 9:16

Yesterdays reports that around ten per cent of the NHS budget is being spent on the treatment and prevention of diabetes, highlights the need for an integrated healthcare model to improve the way in which patients with long term conditions such as diabetes are managed.

With seven million people in the UK currently at high risk of diabetes and three million already being treated for the incurable condition, its imperative that any avoidable costs often brought about through secondary complications are prevented. It is estimated that 4/5ths of the cost to the NHS is due to avertable complications such as kidney failure, heart disease, amputation and blindness.

This is where health coaching can make a huge difference. For individuals diagnosed with a particular long-term condition, health coaching - where registered nurses help the patient manage their condition by providing mentoring and support via two-way phone calls - is emerging as a powerful platform to nurture informed patients and help them overcome fears, embarrassment and better manage their long-term conditions.

With the security and anonymity of liaising with a trusted nurse, patients are more likely to mention that they have noticed a difference in their vision or a frequent need to urinate. Using the correct, non-directive, terminology, the health coach can then suggest whether the patient needs to report it to their GP which could ultimately provide the necessary spur a patient needs to help early diagnosis and improved chances of recovery.

Health coaching has been shown to motivate patients towards a readiness to change unhelpful thinking patterns. It can facilitate patients confidence and skills in self-management, and help them prepare for consultations, particularly in this instance by providing them with the confidence to know they would not be wasting the doctors time, proactively consider treatment options and encourage behavioural change. Moreover, with patients conscious that consultation time with their GP is limited, health coaching provides a valuable opportunity for individuals to discuss the longer-term management and implications of their condition with a trained health practitioner providing that ongoing support patients need as they seek to adapt their lifestyles.

It is essential that integrated support tools and services such as health coaching form part of the way in which healthcare is provided, to best support individuals and their long term conditions, avoiding unnecessary complications and achieving cost savings.

Yours sincerely,

Wendy Lawrence,

CEO, Totally Health


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