Thousands of patients are needlessly having legs amputated because doctors are failing to spot poor circulation early enough.
A 16-page report, sent to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt by MPs from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Vascular Disease, criticises the NHS for viewing amputations as a treatment option instead of a worst case scenario.
Of 11,000 amputations each year for patients with vascular disease and diabetes, 5,000 are considered unnecessary due to a shocking postcode lottery which means that they were not treated soon enough.
All Party Parliamentary Group on Vascular Disease, which prepared the report, announced that the amputations could be avoided with early diagnosis and quicker, co-ordinated treatment.
The illness which blocks arteries and veins affects more than 4 million people and causes 40% of all deaths and can cause high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. It can lead getting conditions such as coronary heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. The report reads that it found that a multi-disciplinary foot team at King’s College Hospital, in South East London, had dramatically reduced the number of patients needing amputations.
Consultant vascular surgeons say that patients with a diabetic foot infection or problem visiting a hospital should be seen by a multi-disciplinary team and should happen within 24 hours. However, reports suggest that this is where a large number of the NHS trusts are failing as according to the reports do not have the teams available and patients are not seen internally. As so the risk of amputation is quite high.
The report added that the most efficient way to assess, diagnose and treat vascular patients is to bring all the required skills under one roof alike the one at King’s College Hospital, in South East London. As multi-disciplinary foot team clinics can call on: Podiatrists, Microbiologists, Physicians, Radiologists and Surgeons, so that patients can be seen by all the relevant disciplines in the same place at the same time. And so with this help reduce the number of on-going appointments, and provide an improved cost effective and rapid and reactive service.
The number of people who suffer from diabetes is set to rise steadily and reach 4.4 million people by the year 2020 due to obesity.
For more information on the above report, please click on:
To view the All Party Parliamentary Group on Vascular Disease report, please click on the following link: