Diabetes success for hospital team

FOOT amputations in diabetic patients in east Suffolk have reduced by more than 60 per cent in the last ten years, it was revealed today.Pioneering work carried out by the team at Ipswich Hospital's diabetes centre means the number of patients needing amputations is now among the lowest of any hospital in the world.

FOOT amputations in diabetic patients in east Suffolk have reduced by more than 60 per cent in the last ten years, it was revealed today.

Pioneering work carried out by the team at Ipswich Hospital's diabetes centre means the number of patients needing amputations is now among the lowest of any hospital in the world.

Dr Gerry Rayman, director of diabetes and endocrine services, said: “Ten years ago there were 28 people who had to have major amputations at this hospital because of diabetic foot problems, last year that figure was down to eight, which is one of the lowest figures ever reported.”

Diabetes patients have problems with their feet for a number of reasons.

The disease can stop blood flowing to the feet properly and reduce feeling in them. It also means that patients are more susceptible to infection.

Dr Rayman said: “If a patient steps on a nail or something sharp they may not feel it or realise what they have done, and by the time they do the wound will have become infected.

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“Our work has been about raising the profile of these problems, with patients, with GPs and with staff in the community, so that problems are picked up before they become more serious.”

The hospital have developed a specialist team with expertise in foot problems who run clinics for any diabetes patients who have concerns.

Dr Rayman and some of his colleagues presented their figures to clinicians from across the world at a conference in Malvern last week.

He said: “It could not have been achieved without the help of a variety of health care professionals, but most the support of people with diabetes and their families who have helped to fundraise for the foot clinic over the years.”

Have you benefited from the clinic? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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