The coach of Crystal Palace Football Club plus the captain - have thrown their weight behind a campaign aimed at curbing diabetes-related amputations.
Dr Ryland Morgans - who has Type 1 diabetes - is Crystal Palace’s Head of Performance and a Diabetes UK supporter. He says: “We’re supporting the Putting Feet First campaign because the number of toe, foot and leg amputations is staggering. The fact the vast majority are preventable makes Diabetes UK’s work all the more important."
“As someone with Type 1 diabetes, I am well aware that you can live a healthy, active life but that starts with finding out more about your diabetes. If you do live with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, please check out this important campaign.”
Jason Puncheon, Crystal Palace captain and from Croydon, adds: “As footballers we couldn’t do our job without our health being in top condition, but everyone needs to look after their health.
The duo spoke out as a survey revealed that more than half of Londoners are unaware that foot ulcers are a serious complication of diabetes, despite being a leading cause of diabetes-related amputations.
The survey, conducted for Diabetes UK by YouGov, found that while 80 per cent of people in the capital know that an amputation is a major complication of diabetes, 57 per cent did not know that people with diabetes are susceptible to foot ulcers which, when unhealed, are responsible for as many as four-in-five diabetes-related amputations.
Diabetes UK’s Putting Feet First campaign is calling for urgent improvements to community diabetes foot services. Foot problems, such as infections or ulcers, can deteriorate quickly and with devastating consequences. Diabetes UK wants people with diabetes who have foot problems to be seen quickly by podiatrists and foot protection teams.
The number of diabetes-related amputations in London is at an all-time high, with approximately 2,787 procedures being carried out during the period 2013-2016. This represents an increase of 453 compared to the previous three-year recording period of 2010-13 (2,334).
An amputation can be devastating to a person’s quality of life, and can even be life threatening - with up to 80 per cent of people with diabetes dying within five years following surgery. A major amputation is above the ankle, while a minor amputation can mean the loss of a toe or a foot. Foot ulcers and amputations are also very costly to the NHS; with at least £1 in every £140 of NHS spending in England going on foot care for people with diabetes.
Roz Rosenblatt, Head of London at Diabetes UK, said: “Diabetes-related amputations devastate lives. It’s essential that people living with diabetes know how to look after their feet and check them daily. It’s also crucial that they know to seek urgent medical attention if they notice any problems with their feet.”
A short video from Diabetes UK gives four simple, key steps to performing a daily foot health check:
1. Take off your shoes and socks
2. Check your foot temperature
3. Visually inspect your feet for calluses, and changes in shape or colour
4. Check in-between your toes and your toenails
Watch the video on how to check your feet every day