The charity said 84 hospitals out of the 206 surveyed do not have such teams in place. It urged every hospital to install an MDT to ensure patients living nearby do not suffer the “trauma and loss of mobility” that comes from having a foot amputated.
Diabetic patients are more likely to be admitted to hospital with a foot ulcer as diabetes may lead to poor circulation reducing sensation in the feet.
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Diabetes UK said to prevent gangrene and amputation patients should be referred to an MDT within 24 hours because “having one of these teams in place could literally mean the difference between them keeping a foot and losing it.”
Chief executive Barbara Young added: “Everyone agrees that specialist hospital foot care teams are important for preventing amputations and can save the NHS money. This is why it is appalling that so many hospitals are letting down people with diabetes by still not having one of these teams in place.”
“It is a tragic example of the short-term approach of some hospitals that they are failing to invest in an MDT despite the fact that the financial savings from doing fewer amputations is likely to outweigh the cost of setting up one of these teams.”
There are 3.7 million diabetes sufferers in the UK and according to Diabetes UK every week there are 100 diabetes-related amputations.
The charity is planning to write to the chief executives of the 84 hospitals and advised patients to write their own letters to local hospitals to make their feelings known.