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Diabetics need better foot care

22nd June 2009

The Society for Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP) has said foot amputations in diabetic patients could be avoided by the NHS.

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Recent statistics revealed that the health service spends £600 million annually on treatments for foot disorders in diabetic patients. £252 million is paid out to perform amputations.

People who have diabetes are at risk of developing problems with their feet. The disease can cause nerve damage and interfere with the blood supply to the feet.

The disruption in blood supply and to nerves can cause injuries and cuts to heal slowly. If foot injuries become infected this may necessitate amputation.

Nita Parmar, of the SCP, said the majority of important issues could be prevented if patients were provided with better general foot treatments instead of just a yearly foot inspection.

"Each amputation costs the NHS around £13,500 with long hospital stays, yet up to 85% of all diabetic amputations can be prevented with specialist podiatrist foot care," she said.

Diabetes UK's Bridget Turner added: "The longer problems are left untreated, the greater the risk of deterioration and loss of the limb, which has devastating effects on a person's mobility and mood, causing disfigurement and reducing independence."

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