Did you know diabetes is leading cause of foot amputation? Healthwatch Suffolk calls for greater awareness

PUBLISHED: 16:17 15 March 2017 | UPDATED: 08:32 16 March 2017

Gerry Rayman, head of services at the Diabetes Research Unit, says the report should 'reassure' people with diabetes

Gerry Rayman, head of services at the Diabetes Research Unit, says the report should 'reassure' people with diabetes


Suffolk diabetes patients suffer multiple episodes of foot disease at a “significantly higher” rate than the national average, a report has found.

Healthwatch Suffolk, which published the report, is calling for all diabetic patients to be warned of the risks of foot complications, after it emerged nearly a third had not been told.

National studies claim diabetes is “one of the biggest health challenges today” costing the health service an estimated £10billion a year.

It is also the leading cause of foot amputations in the UK, with recent figures suggesting up to 135 are carried out each week.

Suffolk, with its older population, is believed to have a higher incidence of diabetes than other parts of the country.

From 2011-2014, more than 700 patients in the Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk regions were admitted to hospital for foot disease - leading to 71 “major amputations”.

While these figures are in-line with national averages, Healthwatch Suffolk’s Feet in Focus report said the proportion of patients having multiple episodes of foot disease was “significantly higher”.

The report, based on responses from more than 500 Suffolk patients, found diabetic foot care services in the county was “generally positive” with many reporting good experiences. Nearly all patients (93%) said their feet had been examined by a health professional in the past year.

But despite national guidelines, 32% of respondents said they were not told about the risk of developing a diabetic foot problems and 43% were not told what to do if one developed. More than a quarter said they were not given advice on looking after their feet.

Based on the report, patients across the East of England region will receive a new information card following their annual health check, containing guidance on what to look for in terms of foot health and who to contact if they have concerns.

Healthwatch Suffolk’s chief executive Andy Yacoub said while it was clear people are receiving good care in the county “there is room to improve”.

“It is our hope that the findings will be used to improve services in Suffolk and to build on continued developments within local services,” he added. Gerry Rayman, head of services at the Diabetes Research Unit at Ipswich Hospital, who worked on the report, said the survey should reassure people with diabetes that foot care in Suffolk is “of a high standard compared with the rest of the country”.

“It is also very helpful as it reveals areas in which we need to improve, in particular having people with diabetes know their risk of developing a diabetes foot complication and what to do in event of a complication,” Dr Rayman added.

Visit here to download the report.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Sudbury Mercury visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Sudbury Mercury staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Sudbury Mercury account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other popular content


Officials behind the Stars of Suffolk awards are urging people to make nominations for carer of the year.


A charity initiative which sees dogs - and some cats - proudly parading their own version of a poppy in support of servicemen and women is being launched for a second year.


Police are at the scene of a two-vehicle collision in Ipswich involving a car and a van.


A motorist who consumed a cocktail of drugs before causing a crash on a Suffolk road which left a woman with “life-changing injuries” has been jailed for 28 months.

Show Job Lists

Local weather



max temp: 15°C

min temp: 13°C

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24