People still unaware of foot risks in diabetes
More than a third of people in the UK are not aware that foot ulcers are a serious complication of diabetes, despite being a leading cause of diabetes-related amputations, according to a survey by YouGov commissioned by Diabetes UK.
The survey included more than 2000 people and showed that despite 79% knowing that an amputation is a major complication of diabetes, 36% did not know that people with diabetes are susceptible to foot ulcers, which when unhealed are responsible for as many as four-in-five diabetes-related amputations.
The number of diabetes-related amputations in England is now at an all-time high, with more than 8500 procedures being carried out each year. This equates to 23 minor and major amputations per day, or more than 160 a week. As well as being personally devastating, amputations and foot ulcers are also extremely costly to the NHS; at least a pound in every £140 of NHS spending in England goes on foot care for people with diabetes.
Dan Howarth, head of care at Diabetes UK, said: “With the right support, four out of five amputations are preventable. But the quality and availability of services still varies significantly across England. We want to see greater commitment from Government to improving diabetes foot services, ensuring routine, high-quality care to those who need it, regardless of where they live.’
Diabetes UK highlight four simple, key steps to performing a daily foot health check:
- Take off your shoes and socks
- Check your foot temperature
- Visually inspect your feet for calluses, and changes in shape or colour
- Check in-between your toes, and your toenails
Details on the Diabetes UK ‘Putting Feet First’ campaign are available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/campaigning/putting-feet-first
A video guide to how to look after your feet if you have diabetes is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jC9hXPURsQA