Call for action to reduce number of amputations

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A CALL has been made for major improvements to health services after a report revealed high numbers of amputations in Fareham and Gosport.

Mark Hoban, Fareham MP, has said local services need to do ‘everything in their power’ to prevent diabetes sufferers from having a lower limb amputated.

It was revealed in a report that people with diabetes in Fareham and Gosport are seven times more likely to have a lower limb amputated than people in parts of London.

The statistics recently published by Public Health England show that between April 2010 and March 2013, there were 5.1 amputations per 1,000 diabetics in Fareham and Gosport, compared with 0.7 in Brent, London and 2.6 nationally.

To tackle this problem, Mr Hoban will be writing to all GP surgeries in Fareham, urging them to make sure all frontline staff are well-equipped to spot warning signs which could lead to an amputation such as foot ulcers. He also wants patients to be educated in spotting symptoms themselves if they are at a high risk.

Mr Hoban is planning a meeting between himself, Diabetes UK and local health care leaders to develop an action plan to reduce the number of amputations over the next three years.

Mr Hoban said: ‘I was shocked to learn that local diabetics are losing their feet when better healthcare could have prevented this from happening.

‘Having a foot amputated is devastating for the individual and their family as they lose their independence, livelihood and it will have a profound impact on their quality of life.

‘We must ensure that local services are doing everything in their power to prevent amputations.

‘I believe that we need better education for people with diabetes, good quality foot checks at GP practices, hospitals and specialist services must respond much more quickly to those who are at a greater risk of developing foot ulcers.’