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MPs say risk of amputation depends on where you live

3 April 2014 - 2:43pm

People living in south west England are twice as likely to have a limb amputated than those living in London.

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BACPAR chair Louise Tisdale: 'Members are concerned about variations [...] in different parts of the country.'

That is an example of the type of variation highlighted in a report published by the parliamentary group on vascular disease. The report is titled Tackling Peripheral Arterial Disease More Effectively: Saving Limbs, Saving Lives.

It states that there were almost 12,000 lower limb amputations in England during 2012 to 2013. Most were related to peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and diabetic foot disease.

There is, however, no nationally consistent policy on how to treat patients with PAD, which, according to the report, has led to geographical variations and even unnecessary amputations.

The MPs call for the introduction of ‘a comparable set of simple outcome standards’ that would drive up the quality of services.

Louise Tisdale is the chair of the British Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Amputee Rehabilitation (BACPAR). She said members are concerned about variations in the ratio of transfemoral to transtibial amputations  in different parts of the country.

‘This has massive implications for patients’ rehabilitation outcomes as well as the costs to the NHS for prosthetic components and hospital stays,’ she said. There were also  associated social care costs,’ Ms Tisdale added.

‘The involvement of multidisciplinary teams is vital in diabetic and peripheral vascular disease teams, and BACPAR is keen to be involved in the development of new pathways and guidelines.’

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