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Ipswich Hospital praised for successfully tackling needless diabetic foot amputations

PUBLISHED: 20:16 06 December 2017

Ipswich Hospital.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Hospital. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Ipswich Hospital has been recognised as a trailblazer in diabetic foot care.

The College of Podiatry has praised the trust for its work in successfully reducing the number of diabetics needlessly undergoing amputations.

In 2010, Ipswich Hospital launched a programme to promote foot checks for diabetes inpatients.

Videos teaching staff how to check feet were shown in all wards and monthly random audits were carried out to check on the percentage of relevant patients having the foot screenings.

As a result, the prevalence of foot ulcers in Ipswich Hospital inpatients reduced by two-thirds in 2010-13 compared to 2008-10 – and health bosses are continuing to build on their success.

An Ipswich Hospital spokesman said: “We are very proud of our diabetic foot clinic who provide high quality care to both inpatients and outpatients and we look forward to working with The College of Podiatry in the future.”

Dr John Flather, diabetes lead for Ipswich and East Suffolk NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It is certainly pleasing that Ipswich Hospital has been recognised for their hard work in reducing the number of diabetes-related amputations.”

The College of Podiatry has launched online took that maps in detail the comparative rates of amputations across England and is calling on commissioners to take measures to improve diabetic foot care in their areas.

Peter Shorrick, interim head of Diabetes UK in the East of England, said diabetes-related amputations “devastate lives”.

He added: “That’s why it’s essential that people living with diabetes know how to look after their feet, and that they check them daily. It’s also crucial that they know to seek urgent medical attention if they notice any problems with their feet; a matter of hours can make the difference between losing and keeping a limb.

“This guide is a great way to raise awareness of the importance of good foot care. Preventing foot ulcers and treating them quickly if they do develop is crucial in avoiding amputation.”

Last year, an east Suffolk project scooped the Innovation in Diabetes Care award at the Healthcare Transformation Awards.

Diabetes-related amputations are usually preceded by foot ulcers, caused by a combination of impaired circulation and nerve damage.

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