Preventing Diabetic Foot Ulceration

Posted by JOrchard on 19 April, 2016

The blog below has been based on a report called Preventing Diabetic Foot Ulceration in Primary Care. If you're interested in reading the whole report, click here.

In the UK over the last three years, there were almost 150,000 In-Patient Diabetic Foot events which resulted in over 1.3m hospital beds been taken over night at NHS hospitals. The chanced of these events occurring in figures as an average is around19.2 events for every 1000 Diabetes patients. The cost of these events occurring adds up to around £650m per year, and that number is continuing to grow. 

Dermatonics - Preventing Diabetic Foot Pain and Cracked Heels

These days, almost every GP Surgery will have experienced an ulceration or amputation and therefore will understand the costs and time associated with these. The average Trust/CCG will spend around £3m on treating ulcerations but a very small amount is spent on actually trying to prevent the ulcerations from occurring in the first place.

Unfortunately mortality rates after an amputation are as high as 50% after just two years. This number grows even further to 70% after five years which is similar to bowel cancer and higher than both lung and pancreatic cancer. This is very concerning considering that one in ten ulcerations end up leading to an amputation.

The lowest rate of Foot care events in a CCG/Trust in the UK was 7.7 events for every 1000 diabetes patients, compared to the average 19.2 events for every patient. If we were able to reduce the average to 7.7, we would actually save many lives and substantial sums of money annually. Demographics is one reason for some of the huge variations in  rates.

The Chief Executive of the NHS has called for the NHS to “get serious about prevention” and NHS England have launched Commissioning For Prevention. The National Diabetes Audit suggests “effective risk management is dependant on people with Diabetes understanding what their risk factors are and what they can do to minimise those risks”.

The simplest prevention strategy is to make sure patients with dry skin apply cream to their feet daily as this will decrease the chances of an ulceration. The Young Townson FootSkin Hydration Scale for Diabetic Neuropathy, recently published in the Diabetic Foot Journal, was written with prevention in mind, and therefore also communicates risk factors to practitioners and patients. By applying an emollient to the feet, we are able to reduce the ulceration rates by around 13%. As a rustle this the NHS are able to save £15 for every additional £1 spent on Dermatonics, as suggested in a repost written by Oxford University Statistics Department. 

Dermatonics - Preventing Diabetic Foot Pain and Cracked Heels

Thank you for reading the latest news from Diabetes. We are giving away 50 free tubes of our Foot Balm which prevents foot ulcerations and cracked heels, if you would like to know how to get your hands on a free tube, click here.

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