DIABETIC patients are being reminded to look after their feet to avoid limbs needing amputation.
Christopher Bater, 61, who suffers from Type 2 diabetes, alerted his specialist diabetic nurse quickly when he noticed a small cut on his big toe.
Diabetes can lead to poor circulation in the feet and means you are less likely to feel pain.
Mr Bater, a retired special education teacher, of Saxon Close, Warsash, said: ‘In the summer I noticed a small papercut-type cut on my big toe.
‘I checked on it and after a week when it wasn’t healing I went to see my diabetic nurse.
‘As soon as she saw the cut I was referred to a service to help me.’
Mr Bater was referred to the specialist team at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
It is made up of specialists, including diabetic consultants, nurses and vascular surgeons, who can monitor a patient, treat them quickly and then avoid amputating a limb.
In Mr Bater’s case, this quick action meant his big toe was saved from amputation.
Fareham and Gosport has one of the highest amputation rates in the country – 5.1 per 1,000 adults with diabetes, compared to 4.3 in Portsmouth, and the national average of 2.6 per 1,000.
It is hoped the close work with podiatry clinics, along with patients checking their feet regularly, will reduce this rate.
Mr Bater was given strong antibiotics to clear the infection that had developed from the cut.
He now visits a podiatry clinic at the Paulsgrove and Wymering Healthy Living Centre, in Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove.
Emily Sambrook, diabetes specialist podiatrist for Solent NHS Trust, which runs the foot clinics, says it’s important for diabetic patients to look after their feet.
The message is being given on World Diabetes Day, which aims to raise awareness of the condition.