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7,000 Diabetics Having Feet Amputated

According to an article in The Times last month, more 7,000 diabetics are likely to lose a foot this year, despite evidence that shows most of these amputations could be avoided with simple healthcare checks.

This comes after a report by The Public Accounts Committee, published at the end of 2012, which stated the standard of diabetes care in England is “depressingly poor”, causing thousands of unnecessary deaths and health difficulties. Of particular note, it is thought some 24,000 lives were lost due to poor diabetic care, while major amputation is 210% higher than would be expected. The need for a minor amputation is the most significant cause of complication, with foot amputations being 331% higher than expected.

Why is diabetic care failing?

But why exactly is the NHS failing to provide a reasonable level of diabetic care? After all, it is a common condition that affects nearly four million people in the UK.

It seems the overriding problem is that diabetics are not being offered routine health checks. It is well-known that diabetes can lead to a series of other health complaints, including eye problems, kidney disease, nerve damage and foot problems.

Because of these risks, a decade ago the Government set out plans to reform diabetic care in order to reduce. This included close monitoring of diabetics, all of whom should have access to a diabetes care team who should check a patient's eyes, feet and nerves regularly. Sufferers should also be offered regular health checks from their GP and specialist organisations such as the NHS Diabetic Eye Screening Programme.

However, medical professionals are failing to provide these routine health checks, meaning complications are not noticed until the latter stages. By then it is often too late for treatment to be given, meaning a patient must have a foot amputated when it could have previously been saved. In extreme cases, these preventable complications are fatal.

Has this happened to you or your loved one?

If you or your loved one has been the victim of negligent diabetic care, get touch with a solicitor today. This is because if doctors did not provide an acceptable standard of care, you will be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you have needlessly endured. This might apply if routine health checks were not provided, or complications failed to be diagnosed by medical professionals in a timely fashion.

For more information on making a medical negligence claim for poor diabetic care, contact a medical negligence solicitor today.

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