A diabetes charity has published a leaflet to try and boost the number of patients having vital annual foot checks.
More than 400,000 people with diabetes in England are not having an annual foot check, according to a new analysis by Diabetes UK.
“It is unacceptable that the proportion of people getting the check has hardly changed over recent years”
The new figures, based on NHS data, reveal that an estimated 27.7% of people with type 1 diabetes and 13.3% of people with type 2 diabetes in England are not getting the checks.
More than 100 diabetes-related amputations are carried out in the UK every week, and it is thought that up to 80% of them could be prevented, the charity said.
To try and address this, it has published a new leaflet called What To Expect At Your Annual Foot Check.
The leaflet highlights the importance of getting an annual foot check and outlines the components of a good foot check, such as a thorough examination and a test of the foot nerves, so people know what to expect in their checks.
This is needed because in many cases where people do get foot checks, they are not thorough enough and people are not told what their risk of developing serious foot problems is, the charity claimed.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “Given the high levels of preventable diabetes-related amputations, it is unacceptable that the proportion of people getting the check has hardly changed over recent years.
“But having a check is not enough on its own,” she said. “When people do get foot checks, we know from the experiences people with diabetes share with us that they are often not thorough enough, with some people not even being asked to remove their shoes or socks.”