Amputation rates show huge regional variation

By | 7 March, 2012

According to the BBC: “Amputation rates for diabetes patients are 10 times higher in some parts of England than in others, according to a study. Researchers say the figures highlight the importance of ensuring the right specialist care. The findings coincide with an NHS report putting the annual cost of diabetes-related amputations at £120m.”

This dog agrees with Diabetes UK that this is a “national disgrace”. We’re used to there being a postcode-lottery for equipment including insulin pumps but for there to be such massive variation with something as important as amputations is appalling.

Source: Diabetes amputation rates show huge regional variation

Other coverage: Diabetes UK

3 thoughts on “Amputation rates show huge regional variation

  1. Dave

    Blimey have a look at the shaded map of England at the bottom of the article.
    How does this compare with other measures of care given to diabetics in England? Is there a direct correlation?

  2. Tim

    As I listened to this on the wireless this morning I also wondered whether there was a correlation between amputations / quality of care / poverty. Quality of health care must – obviously – be a major factor but I wondered if poverty was a factor too.

    For example, I know that some areas of Glasgow are the poorest in Europe and have proportionally the worst life expectancy & health around; so you would perhaps expect to see higher incident of amputations there too. Not because the health care is any poorer but because health is generally poorer.

    1. brian

      @Tim Poverty certainly is a marker for poor health outcomes, not just diabetes. I see poverty as a complex multi-factorial matter ie a vicious circle of low self-esteem leading to low educational attainment, unemployment, poor mental health, poor physical health and back to low self-esteem; as such not easy to solve.

      To solve – break the circle – but that’s a lot easier said than done. I have some sympathy with a ‘tough love ‘ route ie reduce benefits but in a supportive environment. Work would help solve a lot of the problems listed above; it just needs to be available and more inviting than benefits.


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