Speaking in a debate in Parliament on ‘government policies on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes’, Nick Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent called on the Government to set a realistic target of a 50% reduction in amputations by 2018.
Nick Smith MP said: “Sadly we had 23 amputations last year from complications arising from diabetes and vascular conditions in my constituency of Blaenau Gwent, despite having a valued Specialist Foot Ulcer Clinic run weekly by an Advanced Podiatry Practitioner at Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan.
“Health professionals say that 125 amputations occur weekly owing to diabetes, yet 80% are preventable. The National Audit Office says that we could save £34 million annually if late referrals to specialist teams were halved.
“So I hope the Government will support a specific pledge that would be widely welcomed. The Putting Feet First campaign, whose supporters include Diabetes UK and the College of Podiatry want a realistic target of a 50% reduction in amputations by 2018.
“The government knows that ‘diabetic foot disease accounts for more hospital bed days than all other complications from diabetes.’ *
“So we need a strong message from Government that preventable amputations must come down, variations will not be tolerated and precious NHS resources will not be wasted.”