TORBAY and South Devon is among the areas of England with the highest rates of amputations for patients with diabetes, a study has said.
The All Party Parliamentary group on Vascular Disease has condemned figures showing amputation rates across the country.
It lists South Devon and Torbay at number seven in its list of amputations per 1,000 adults with diabetes.
The figure is put at 3.8 amputations.
But a spokesman for Torbay Hospital said the figures do not just reflect treatment at Torbay as patients from the area may travel to other hospitals.
They also say the number of amputations has fell dramtically over recent years.
Overall the South West performs poorly in the study, which relies on data from 2009-2012.
Neil Carmichael MP, chair of the group said: “Too many patients aren’t getting the treatment they need to avoid losing their legs.
“The figures for parts of the South West of England are particularly alarming, and this needs to be tackled.
“The All Party Parliamentary Group on Vascular Disease, working with the country’s top experts in this field, recommends that the Department of Health make reducing lower limb-loss a major priority.
“This is especially important given the country’s ageing population.”
The report says amputations are dependent on where you live, which in turn is dependent on the policies of local health authorities – Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS Trusts.
Amputation is twice as likely for patients in the South West as it is in London.
But the South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group says it has the lowest amputation rates for the South West – and below the advised national target.
A spokesman said: “A total of 36 major amputations have been performed at Torbay Hospital (South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust) for diabetic foot disease since 2010 that is 14 in 2010, 13 in 2011, six in 2012 and three in 2013. This number has decreased significantly from a peak of 36 major amputations in just one year (2007).
“The national data published for major amputations for the Torbay area include patients that live on the boundaries of the CCG and who may receive their care at another hospital and therefore may not reflect the numbers seen at Torbay Hospital.
“We do of course take the report’s content very seriously and will work with local providers of health and social care to review the data and recommendations included within the report, to align these with the existing and developing priorities of the Clinical Pathway Group.
“We have confidence in the skills and experience of healthcare professionals caring for diabetics within South Devon and Torbay to work with patients to improve their understanding and self-management of their conditions, with the aim of minimising the risks of complications which may lead to amputations.”