Around one in seven type 2 diabetics and around three in 10 type 1 diabetics are at risk of having an amputation because they are not receiving their recommended annual foot check, according to research by Diabetes UK.

Guidelines by the National Institute for Heath and Care Excellence (NICE) state that any patient suffering with diabetes should be tested at least once a year, but latest figures estimate that around 400,000 patients are failing to get their feet checked annually. The research also revealed that many people are receiving inadequate foot checks, with patients, in some instances, not even being asked to remove their socks during the examination.

Diabetics with uncontrolled blood glucose levels can be vulnerable to suffering nerve damage and poor circulation which, if untreated, can lead to serious complications, including amputation. Up to 80 percent of people with diabetes die within five years of an amputation.

Sharon Banga, a senior clinical negligence solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Birmingham office, said: “Diabetes is a serious condition which demands constant monitoring, management and care from medical staff, as well as the patient themselves.

“The consequences of poorly managed diabetes can be life changing, which makes these figures highly concerning. Diabetics are at a very real risk of amputation if their diabetes and blood sugar levels are not adequately controlled. Given that many of these amputations are preventable, it is absolutely vital that patients are receiving the checks required to manage their condition safely.”

Read our dedicated factsheet to find more information about Diabetes and amputation.