New Fylde foot care team aims to help people with diabetes

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A new Fylde foot team has been set up to reduce the number of people losing limbs to diabetes.

Four specialist podiatrists have been recruited by Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to run the high risk foot care service across the area.

Data for between April 2013 and March 2016 showed that 108 amputations were carried out across the Fylde coast following complications arising from diabetes.

This is significantly higher than the national average.

The high risk foot care service will allow for extra staff to run clinics in the community for people at risk of losing limbs. It will also support improvements to foot care for those needing to be admitted to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Bosses said it will give support for people closer to home and ensure more joined up care with specialist hospital teams and GPs.

The service has been developed in a partnership between NHS Fylde and Wyre and NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Tony Naughton, clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, said: “We know that diabetes foot care is an issue on the Fylde coast and so this new service will help us to tackle it.

“We need to stop people losing limbs to diabetes and by developing this specialist team we can target those who are most at risk.

The most important thing in avoiding amputations is good control of diabetes and, here, the patient is the most important factor.

People have told us they want services closer to home rather than in hospital, and this service is yet another way we are doing that across the Fylde coast.”

The service will run until March 2019 and if successful extended.