DIABETICS living in one part of Hampshire are seven times more likely to have an amputation than people living 100 miles down the road.
That is according to new figures from the charity Diabetes UK, who say the so-called “postcode lottery” gap is growing.
The organisation fears there are still too many amputations that could have been prevented by better care. It has released figures based on NHS data which reveal Fareham and Gosport is the worst performing area in the country.
According to figures from Public Health England, between April 2010 and March 2013 there were 5.1 amputations per 1,000 diabetics in Fareham and Gosport, compared with 0.7 in Brent in London, the best performing area in the country, and 2.6 nationally.
The rate is 4.2 in Southampton, 3.1 in West Hampshire and 4.3 in Portsmouth.
There are more than 1,000 diabetic-related amputations in the UK every week and Diabetes UK claims evidence shows that up to 80 per cent could be prevented.
Diabetes sufferer Raymond Hale, from Stubbington, chairman of the Fareham Diabetes UK group, said the problem in Fareham and Gosport was down to a combination of factors.
He said residents were not getting enough education on managing their condition. He also believed doctors and nurses had insufficient knowledge on how to deal with diabetic patients and referrals to hospital specialists were taking too long – in some cases six months to speak to a podiatrist. He said diabetics were more at risk of amputation because of nerve damage which meant they might not be aware of a wound. Poor circulation and sugar-rich blood can help an infection to grow faster.