Ministers blasts amputation ‘scandal’

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A health Minister has hit out at “scandalous” variations in the amputation rates for diabetes sufferers in England.

Paul Burstow said eight out of 10 amputations were “unnecessary” and could have been avoided through better care.

The Minister told the Commons the Government was committed to seeing improvements in the treatment offered to sufferers.

Amputations are sometimes necessary when diabetes damages blood or nerve vessels.

Labour’s Keith Vaz, who has type 2 diabetes, said there were “shocking” differences between parts of England and warned the Government’s health reforms could make the situation worse.

He said: “There are shocking regional variations in diabetes care. Eighty percent of amputations due to diabetes can be prevented with the right checks.”

In his Leicester East constituency, he told MPs the number of annual amputations per 1,000 adults with diabetes was 1.4, significantly below the national average of 2.7.

“However a sufferer who lives in Swindon is twice as likely to have an amputation,” he said