Fewer Fylde coast diabetic patients are having to undergo amputations thanks to improvements in their medical care.

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In 2014/15 more than twice the number of amputations than the national average took place at Blackpool Victoria Hospital with 147 in total between 2015 and 2018.

Nationally 176 people lose a leg each week due to diabetes, a meeting of Blackpool’s hospital trust board was told. But 85 per cent of amputations can be avoided.

Improvements in Blackpool mean the number of amputations due to diabetes reduced by 57 per cent to 18 in 2020 from 42 in 2019 thanks to the condition being better managed by medics including from the podiatry team.

Podiatrists at Blackpool Victoria Hospital are offering better treatment to diabetics

Podiatrists at Blackpool Victoria Hospital are offering better treatment to diabetics

The improvements have also led to a 70 per cent reduction since 2014 in the amount of time these type of patients need to stay in hospital.

The details were shared with members of the Blackpool Teaching Hospital NHS Trust Board by senior podiatrists Debbie Wilfred and Lesley Russell.

Dr Jim Gardner, medical director at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said uncontrolled diabetes could lead to blockage of blood vessels and ultimately amputation.

He warned: “Poorly managed diabetes can lead to a lot of health problems.”

But joint working between different hospital teams had helped improve the situation.

Dr Gardner added: “This requires input from the whole of the health economy to succeed – GP colleagues, diabetic clinics and public health in terms of a lot of messaging and also case finding.

“It’s a whole team effort and some of the diabetologists are trialling different community models of diabetic care.”