Amputations have a debilitating effect on patients’ quality of life, mobility, living conditions and society as a whole.
Patients who undergo amputations have increased mortality risks, with a recent narrative by DUK stating the relative likelihood of death following amputation or foot ulcers within 5 years is greater than colon, prostate and breast cancer.
Amputation also has huge financial implications to the patients and society with the former likely to incur increased financial support in rehabilitation and housing modifications. It has been estimated that 80% of all costs spent on diabetes is spent on the complications of which foot disease is one.
Management of the Diabetic foot requires a whole system approach across all boundaries of healthcare provision, with early diagnosis of foot complications through effective foot screening, early referrals to the Foot protection service (FPS) and in the case of ‘active foot disease’ shared care between the FPS and Multidisciplinary Foot Service (MDFS).
This can only de achievable through use of appropriate pathways to ensure the patients see’s the right person at the right time. Central to achieving this and ensuring the same standards of care are implemented across the whole of Wales has seen the creation of a new Diabetic foot network. This will allow development of a shared vision and peer support to enhance the provision of foot care in Wales for patients with diabetes.