NHS England in the West Midlands has launched three videos to help patients with diabetes look after their feet.
People who have diabetes are 15 times more likely to undergo amputations than those without the condition. This is because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to patients’ feet, meaning they may not feel any pain if their foot is sore or injured.
The aim of the videos is to enable patients to take more control of their condition by showing them how to look after their feet, what happens at their annual foot check and what to do if they have a problem.
The videos have been developed by NHS England in the West Midlands through its Cardiovascular (CVD) Clinical Network*. It includes a podiatrist and a practice nurse examining patients’ feet, and patients describing how they manage the condition.
Professor Vinod Patel, Diabetes Clinical Director for the West Midlands Cardiovascular Clinical Network, is featured advising patients on what they can do to keep their feet healthy.
He said: “At least 80 per cent of amputations can be prevented if patients with diabetes stop smoking, take regular physical exercise, bring their blood sugar levels under control and have a low cholesterol level.
“These videos are a great educational tool to give patients the knowledge and understanding to take more ownership of their condition, potentially reducing the risk of amputations and other complications associated with diabetes.”
Peter Shorrick, Midlands Regional Head at Diabetes UK, said: “Diabetes-related amputations devastate lives. But with good diabetes control, education and care, many people could drastically reduce their risk of facing amputation.
“It’s essential that people living with diabetes know how to look after their feet, and that they check them daily. It’s also crucial to seek urgent medical help if they notice any problems with their feet.
“With the right support, four out of five amputations are preventable. We welcome this new initiative from the NHS in the West Midlands, as this simple educational resource could really change lives.”
The videos, entitled ‘How to look after your feet’, ‘Your annual foot check’ and ‘What happens if you develop a diabetic foot problem’, are available on NHS England’s YouTube page.