Display of shoes highlights number of diabetes-related amputations

Diabetes UK is calling on the government and the NHS to do more to prevent amputations after figures show record number performed in England

Celebrities have donated shoes to a campaign by charity Diabetes UK to raise awareness of the record number of diabetes-related amputations in England. 

Janet Richards

Amputations resulting from the condition have reached a record high of 135 each week in the period 2011-14. 

To highlight this figure, 135 shoes donated by people who have had an amputation, supporters and celebrities are on display with a personal message outside the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, London.

The charity says that the rates of amputations has remained the same, but because there has been a rise in the number of people diagnosed with the condition there are more people having an amputation.  

Diabetes UK says with good diabetes and foot care 80% of amputations can be avoided. It is calling on the government and the NHS to do more to reduce the number of amputations by improving foot care. 

Former X Factor winner Alexandra Burke, whose mother has type 2 diabetes, and footballer Gary Mabbutt, who has type 1 diabetes, are among those who have donated shoes.

Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young said: ‘The fact that the number of amputations is continuing to rise is a huge concern because we know the devastating effect they have on people’s lives. As well as the psychological impact, they have cost lives because most people die within five years of having one.

‘The vast majority of these amputations are not inevitable and we need people to show us they care about what is happening and take action to help us help many more people avoid the trauma of amputation.. That’s why we are asking people to tweet the secretary of state Jeremy Hunt about this using #135shoes.’

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