Limb loss higher in East Antrim

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Diabetes patients in East Antrim are three times more likely to have a limb amputated than in the Western Trust area.

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust has the highest number of diabetes cases, with more than 22,000 men and women on the diabetes register.

Figures show that 235 people had limbs amputated due to the disease in 2015.

It has been estimated that some 100,000 people in Northern Ireland have diabetes and about £1m is spent by the health service each day on treating people with the condition.

Diabetes causes a person’s blood sugar level to become dangerously high.

A pilot at Causeway Hospital enables patients to see their podiatrist, dietician and nurse under one roof all within 24 hours, if required.

Roy Beggs, Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate for East Antrim, said: “When I was a member of the Health committee and the All Party Group on Diabetes, I became aware of the growing occurrence of diabetes and that the support services covering Northern HSCT and my East Antrim constituents were not as effective as elsewhere.

“ I am delighted with this dramatically positive result of the Causeway Hospital pilot which has reduced amputations by 90 per cent and urge the health trusts to ensure that every diabetes patient has access to the advice and support that can prevent limb amputation.”

GPs can refer an emergency case knowing the person will be seen sometimes on the same day. A foot emergency can mean patients need to be treated within 24 to 48 hours.”