More than 400,000 people are not receiving their annual diabetic foot checks according to figures from NHS Data analysed by Diabetes UK.
The analysis found that an estimated 414,784 people with diabetes in England are not getting the check. This equates to 27.7% of people with type 1 diabetes and 13.3% of people with type 2 diabetes. This is despite NICE guidance advising that everyone with the condition should get one once a year. The foot checks are important to reduce the risk of diabetes-related amputation.
Amputations and foot ulcers have led to up to 80% of people dying within five years of amputation. They are also very costly to the NHS, costing around £1 for every £150 spent by the NHS every year.
Diabetes UK had published a leaflet for people with diabetes to inform them of the things that they should be expecting at their annual foot checks. It highlights why they need to be done and the components of a thorough check.
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. It is one of the reasons so many people with diabetes are forced to endure an amputation and we urgently need to get to a point where everyone with the condition is getting their annual foot check.'
Foot checks are important for people with diabetes because poor control of blood glucose can lead to nerve damage, poor circulation and reduced feeling in feet and legs. This can lead to serious problems such as ulcers which can lead to amputation.