There were 160 diabetes-related amputations in three years in Swindon, according to newly released figures.

Data for 2013-2016 published by Public Health England and the Cardiovascular Intelligence Network and analysed by leading charity Diabetes UK show an increase of 44 on the 116 procedures carried out in Swindon between 2010 and 2013.

Diabetes UK and Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group are so worried about the high levels of toe, foot and leg amputation in the Swindon area that they are putting on a special foot care event for people with diabetes to help them learn how to keep their feet healthy. The free Feet for Life session will take place at the Broadgreen Community Centre, Salisbury Street, Swindon SNI 2AN on Tuesday, 31 October 2017 from 9.45am-2pm.

The event will feature advice on foot care and footwear from local podiatry experts, and hints on healthy eating from a dietician. There will also be an account of living with diabetes from someone who has experienced foot problems as a result of their condition. Lunch and refreshments will be provided free of charge.

There are more than 160 diabetes-related amputations a week in England, yet up to 80 per cent could be prevented through better patient knowledge and improved care services. Preventing foot ulcers and treating them quickly if they do develop is crucial in avoiding amputation. An amputation can be devastating to a person’s quality of life, and can even be life threatening.

Swindon resident Tony Kendall, 67, had his left heel amputated six years ago after he stepped on a stone in his garden when his shoe came off in mud. His foot became infected almost immediately. In spite of going to A&E the following day, he lost his heel only a few weeks later.

“I was told there was a chance of amputation below the knee,” said Tony, who has had Type 2 diabetes for more than 20 years. “But, fortunately, doctors were able to save my leg. I’m just glad I sought medical attention promptly, as it could have been so much worse if I’d waited. It all happened so quickly.”

In spite of being classed as a minor amputation, the loss of his heel has affected Tony’s stability. The father of two teenagers has to wear a special, built-up boot and uses a walking stick. But he now checks and washes his feet carefully, and keeps podiatry appointments.

Annika Palmer, Diabetes UK south west regional head, said:

“Your feet are incredibly important if you have diabetes and there’s a lot you can do yourself to take care of them if only you know how! Our foot care day in Swindon will equip you with the information you need, while ensuring you know who to speak to if and when a problem does arise.”

Matthew Cichero, consultant podiatric surgeon, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“The circumstances that lead to complications such as ulcers and amputations can manifest from the day you are diagnosed with diabetes if you don’t take control of your condition. Understanding why they occur and how to reduce the chances of developing these problems start with education and taking control of diabetes management. 

“The Feet for Life event is an ideal opportunity to learn how to keep your feet healthy now and for the future and I would encourage anyone living with diabetes to attend”.

 

To find out more and book your free place, please contact Paula Wilson at the Diabetes UK south west regional office on 01823 448260 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..