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Number of amputations caused by diabetes in Havering rises by almost a third in three years

PUBLISHED: 07:00 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:16 20 September 2018

A nurse giving a patient a diabetes test. Photo: PA

A nurse giving a patient a diabetes test. Photo: PA

PA/Press Association Images

The number of diabetic people having “devastating” toe, foot and limb amputations in Havering has risen by almost a third since 2014, shocking figures reveal.

Between 2011-12 and 2013-14, there were 100 amputations due to diabetes in the borough’s clinical commissioning group area, according to data published by Public Health England.

By the end of the 2014-15 to 2016-17 period, this figure had risen to 127 - an increase of 27pc.

The biggest increase was in minor or below-the-ankle amputations, such as of the toe or foot.

These rose from 73 to 96 - an increase of 32pc.

The Royal College of Surgeons says that, despite the name, minor amputations can have a major impact on patients.

They can be difficult to heal, could impair walking, and may even lead to further infections, they said.

Across England, amputations increased by 14pc over the same period, rising to almost 26,400 - the equivalent of 170 every week.

Diabetes UK says “urgent action” is needed to stop what it described as an “epidemic” of diabetes.

It also said more needed to be done to address disparities in the quality of care available in different parts of the country.

Around four out of five amputations could be prevented if diabetics had the right support available, they added.

Public Health England says both the survival rate and the quality of life for diabetics who have undergone major amputations - those that are above the ankle - are often poor.

It estimates that around 9pc of the NHS Havering CCG’s population have either been diagnosed with diabetes or are living with it undiagnosed.

This would mean around 31,400 people currently have the disease, based on the most recent population estimates.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Prevention is better than cure, which is why we are delivering an ambitious plan to tackle obesity in children, including getting children exercising more in schools and reducing their exposure to sugary and fatty foods.

“We’ve invested billions in public health services and NHS England’s Diabetes Prevention Programme is available across the country for adults at risk of developing diabetes.”

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