House of Lords written question – answered on 3rd December 2014.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Shadow Spokesperson (Health), Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action they are taking to reduce amputation rates amongst the diabetic population.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what initiatives they have (1) considered, and (2) taken, to reduce the number of preventable amputations occurring within the National Health Service.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

NHS England and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have responsibility for determining the overall approach to improving clinical outcomes from healthcare services for people with diabetes. There are various actions at a national level to help ensure that all patients with diabetes receive good quality care, including foot care.

The National Institute for Health and Care (NICE) Excellence has published clinical guidance and quality standards on the treatment of diabetes and its complications. The NICE Diabetes Quality Standard is clear that people with diabetes who are at risk of foot ulceration should receive regular reviews by a foot protection team in accordance with its clinical guidance. The Health and Social Care Act (2012) places a duty on NHS England to have regard to the NICE Quality Standards. CCGs should also have regard to them in planning and delivering services, as part of a general duty to secure a continuous improvement in quality.

As part of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), general practitioners are remunerated for assessing nerve damage and poor blood supply to the feet in people with diabetes on an annual basis. Information is collected annually both through QOF returns and through the National Diabetes Audit (NDA).

The new National Diabetes Foot Care Audit, a module of the NDA, aims to establish the extent to which national guidelines on the management of diabetic foot disease are being met. The audit will provide local teams with the evidence needed to tackle any identified differences in practice which will lead in turn to an overall improvement in management and outcomes for patients. Local and national level results will be available March 2016.

Diabetic foot disease is also a focus of the cardiovascular Strategic Clinical Networks across England, with an emphasis on rolling out best practice.

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