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Diabetic amputations among highest in country in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley

The region of Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley has one of the highest rates of diabetic amputations in England.

Diabetes UK, a charity which represents people with the condition, contacted the local clinical commissioning group to highlight the problem.

The area sees are an average of 3.3 amputations per 1,000 diabetics per year compared to the England average of 2.6 per 1,000.

The charity’s analysis revealed that just half of diabetes inpatients with foot problems are seen by a team of specialists within 24 hours at Darent Valley Hospital.

It also showed that 54 per cent of inpatients did not have their feet checked during their stay.

This is despite the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence identifying both as important for preventing amputations in people with diabetes, who are 23 times more likely to have an amputation than the rest of the population.

Jill Steaton, Diabetes UK’s regional manager for the South East, said: “It is deeply concerning that the diabetes-related amputation rate in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley is so high and while there are likely to be a number of complex reasons, one of the factors is likely to be the quality of foot care at Darent Valley Hospital.

“Diabetes-related foot problems can deteriorate in a matter of hours so not seeing a specialist team quickly can literally be the difference between keeping your foot and losing it.”

The clinical commissioning group said it has plans to expand the podiatry team and bring in training for people with the condition and healthcare professionals.

People can sign up to support the campaign to improve foot care in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley by visiting www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetesvoices or by calling 020 7424 1008.


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