Blaenau Gwent MP, Nick Smith, aims to halve diabetes limb ops

South Wales Argus: DIABETES DEBATE: Blaenau Gwent MP, Nick Smith DIABETES DEBATE: Blaenau Gwent MP, Nick Smith

A GWENT MP has called on the Government to aim for a 50 per cent reduction in diabetes amputations by 2018.

Nick Smith, MP for Blaenau Gwent, spoke at a debate in Parliament on Wednesday on government policies on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.

He said: “Sadly we had 23 amputations last year from complications arising from diabetes and vascular conditions in my constituency of Blaenau Gwent, despite having a Specialist Foot Ulcer Clinic run weekly by an Advanced Podiatry Practitioner at Ysbyty Aneurin Bevan.

“Health professionals say 125 amputations occur weekly owing to diabetes, yet 80 per cent are preventable. The National Audit Office says that we could save £34 million annually if late referrals to specialist teams were halved.

“I hope the Government will support a specific pledge that would be widely welcomed.

The Putting Feet First campaign, whose supporters include Diabetes UK and the College of Podiatry want a realistic target of a 50 per cent reduction in amputations by 2018.

“The government knows that diabetic foot disease accounts for more hospital bed days than all other complications from diabetes.”

“We need a message from Government that preventable amputations must come down, variations will not be tolerated and precious NHS resources will not be wasted.”

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