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Diabetes-related amputations hit 135 a week

The number of diabetes-related amputations that take place each week in England has now reached 135, according to Public Health England data.

There were 7,000 more amputations this year, compared to the previous annual figure of 6,677, equating to seven more amputations each week. Yet, with good diabetes and foot care, up to 80% of these amputations can be avoided, Diabetes UK, which analysed the data, said.

The charity is calling on the government and the NHS to ensure everyone with diabetes gets good quality annual foot checks and that if anyone with diabetes has a foot infection they get urgent attention from a team of specialists. 

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The fact that the total number of amputations is continuing to rise is a huge concern because we know the devastating impact they have on people's lives. As well as the psychological impact, they also cost lives as most people die within five years of having one.”

Today, the charity is displaying 135 shoes (pictured), donated by those who have had an amputation or charity supporters, to represent the number of diabetes-related amputations a week.

Young said: “With the shoes on display today we want to send a powerful message about the scale of this issue. The vast majority of these amputations are not inevitable and we need people to show us they care about what is happening and take action to help us help many more people avoid the trauma of amputation. That's why we're asking people to tweet the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, about this using #135shoes. For more information on this and other ways to get involved visit our Putting Feet First campaign webpage.”