DIABETIC foot amputations in Portsmouth have fallen by a quarter in the past three years.
According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre, there were 36 major amputations performed between April 1, 2009, and March 31, 2012, on people with diabetic foot disease.
This is a drop of 12 – or 25 per cent – from the 48 recorded from 2008 to 2011.
The change has been put down to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) working with the trust that runs Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, and community health providers Solent NHS Trust and Southern Health NHS Trust.
Dr Jim Hogan heads the Portsmouth CCG, and is the primary care lead on diabetes for Portsmouth and its two neighbouring CCGs – Fareham and Gosport, and South Eastern Hampshire.
He said: ‘A study showed Portsmouth had a significantly high amputation rate, and we were rightly challenged by them, and others, to do something about it.
‘We have responded by designing new foot pathways for patients. There has been an increase from one to three in the number of multi-disciplinary team sessions held a week for patients at QA, and a new foot scoring process is helping us to manage risk.
‘We were also facing a high number of patients who presented late, when we could have treated their foot problems much sooner if they had come to us earlier.
‘So we have worked hard to promote self-care.’
Diabetes can damage nerves and blood vessels, and those in the extremities – such as the feet –are most at risk.
Matthew King, the prevention pathway lead for Solent NHS Trust, said: ‘Our podiatry service redesigned its diabetes pathway with a focus on prevention. The rewards of this pathway are now coming to fruition.
‘Patients are receiving care from the right people in a timely fashion since the introduction of the diabetic foot score.
‘I would encourage all patients with diabetes to find out their foot score at their annual diabetes assessment with their GP practice.’