PIONEERING foot clinics are reducing the cost of treating patients with diabetic complications in East Lancashire, according to hospital bosses.

Nationally, action group Diabetes UK has hit out at “wasteful” NHS spending, and claimed that 80 per cent of the NHS’s £9.8billion annual UK diabetes bill goes on the cost of treating complications, rather than on preventative measures.

A report by the charity states that diabetes treatment will cost the NHS more than a sixth of its entire budget by 2035, but four fifths of these problems — including diabetes, kidney failure and amputations — could be avoided by investing in better preventative measures and management of the condition once it is acquired.

Although no budget figures have been made available by the East Lancashire NHS Hospital Trust (ELHT) officials said that their spending on complications is “less than the average hospital trust”.

Pioneering foot clinics are taking place in East Lancashire to help sufferers keep on top of side affects of their condition.

A spokesman for ELHT said: “We are one of eight leading foot clinics in the UK, and we make sure our patients get the very best treatment and preventative measures so that they don’t end up as inpatients with further complications.

“We have some of the lowest figures in the country for amputations, which is a massive cost to the NHS in terms of rehabilitation and the resulting physiotherapy.”

There are around 25,000 people in the local area with diabetes and within the Trust at any one time between 13-17 per cent of all inpatients will have been admitted due to a diabetes related complication.

Experts at the ELHT recently hosted a national consensus group workshop to share their best practice on foot health - including a focus on circulation and avoiding limb loss, with other hospitals in the country.

Dr Geraint Jones, Consultant Physician at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, who organised the group workshop, said: “We have done a huge amount of work at ELHT working across boundaries to ensure excellent outcomes, low use of inpatient bed usage which translates in to better patient wellbeing and efficiency and consequently low amputation rates.”