There are more than 20 leg, foot or toe amputations each day due to diabetes. This is shocking, especially as four out of five of these amputations are preventable. This is where the Putting Feet First campaign comes in. We want to bring an end to the thousands of potentially preventable amputations affecting people with diabetes.
What needs to happen
We're campaigning across the UK to make sure:
- People with diabetes know how to look after their feet and know what to expect from their health service
- Local health services provide an integrated footcare pathway – the right treatment at the right time in the right place
- Healthcare professsionals are more aware of the risk of diabetic foot disease and provide annual checks.
What you can do to Put Feet First
Do you want to get involved in our Putting Feet First campaign and help us raise awareness of diabetes-related amputations? Join our campaign.
Share your story
We want to hear your stories, whether you've been affected by foot problems or just want to tell us why you think the Putting Feet First campaign is so important. Share your story here.
Give some time
Whether you've got a few minutes to spare or an hour to give, there will be some way you can help. Go to our Diabetes Voices pages to find out more.
Look after your feet
Know how to look after your feet and know what care to expect from the health service.
- Make footcare a part of your daily routine, just like managing your blood glucose and diet.
- Order a copy of our Simple Steps to Healthy Feet leaflet (PDF, 43KB) to make sure you're taking good care of your feet day to day.
- Attend your annual foot check. It’s as important as your retinal screening appointment.
- Make sure you order a copy of our leaflet What to expect at your annual foot check (PDF, 41KB) so that you know you are getting a thorough, quality check.
- Know your risk of developing foot problems and make sure that you are referred if necessary.
- Ask someone to assess the feeling in your toes by doing the Touch the Toes test.
- Keep useful numbers handy, and know who to contact at the first sign of problems with your feet.
Janet was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was 12. Janet lost her leg when she was 40 and is campaigning so no one has to share her experience of an amputation. Since then she's met her MP, spoken to the media and helped our national 135 shoes campaign.
Alison was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 9. She developed foot problems after working at the Olympics in 2012. After having a toe amputated she started campaigning for better foot care. She's raised the issue with her local MP and spoken on TV about amputations.
Pat developed an ulcer which led to a serious infection and later a toe amputation. She feels that better care could have saved her toe. This is why she has campaigned with Diabetes UK for better local care, raising the issue with her local NHS bosses and persuading them to invest more in foot care.
Roy has had Type 1 diabetes for 51 years. He has had five toes amputated in total, the first in 2003. Roy’s son was diagnosed with Type 1 in 2013 and this motivated him to campaign for better care. Since then he’s spoke in Parliament, worked with his local MP and attended our campaign events.
You can support the campaign by:
- Understanding the risk of diabetic foot disease & talking to people about it to people with diabetes.
- Order our leaflets Simple Steps to Healthy Feet and What to Expect at Your Annual Foot Check and hand out to patients with diabetes or display them in your surgery.
- Providing quality foot checks, documenting the level of risk of developing foot ulcers, and telling people with diabetes what their risk is.
- Quickly referring to specialists where necessary, and providing seamless transfer of care by following an integrated footcare pathway (PDF 435KB).
- Participating in the National Diabetes Audit in England and Wales.
- Participating in diabetes networks to influence the delivery of integrated care in your local area.
Commissioners and NHS healthcare planners
Local health services need to deliver the Integrated footcare pathway (PDF, 435KB) – that means providing the right treatment at the right time and in the right place for all people with diabetes:
- Set up referral within 24 hours to a multidisciplinary specialist footcare team for those with ulcers.
- Ensure appropriate referral to a foot protection team which has specialist expertise in assessment and management of disease of the foot.
- Create local diabetes networks to join up and improve foot care for people with diabetes.
All Putting Feet First materials are available via the online shop.