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No grounds for Diabetes criticism
10:10am Friday 7th September 2012 in Letters
Sir.–Re ‘Hospital diabetes policy under fire’ in Thurday’s Gazette , August 23.
Contrary to the accusation of ‘Diabetes UK’ stated in your article, the Basingstoke hospital has a long-standing multi-disciplinary Diabetic Foot Service.
In the early 1970s as a consultant surgeon, I realised I was seeing the same foot lesions as I had seen in India when working with leprosy patients. As a result, the hospital was one of the first in the country to have a Diabetic Foot Service.
A weekly clinic was established, attended by myself and members of the Podiatry Department.
Patients were assessed for loss of sensation and for any reduction in blood supply. Many had pressure areas which needed treatment by the podiatrists.
Those who had foot ulcers were given special treatment and, if necessary, were admitted for bed rest until their ulcers healed.
Many patients needed speciallydesigned protective shoes, and with the help of the ‘Surgical Shoe Vocational Workshop’ that was at the ‘Lord Mayor Treloar College’, the prototype of what became known as the ‘Diabetic Shoe’ was evolved, and is now in use all over the country.
A dedicated orthotist visited the clinic weekly to provide such shoes. Those with circulatory problems were referred to the Vascular Service. Great attention was given to the education of patients in the day-to-day care of their feet and any patient needing help could contact the service at any time. As a result, the need for amputation became very rare. This service has continued and has developed.
As stated by Donna Green in your article, it now includes a consultant diabetologist, a vascular surgeon, specialist radiologist, podiatrist, an orthotist as well as specialist nurses trained in tissue viability.
There is thus no basis at all for the criticism by ‘Diabetes UK’, as the service provided is excellent. It has been in the forefront and has served as an example to other hospitals in the country.
–Frank I Tovey OBE, ChM, FRCS, Retired Consultant Surgeon, Crossborough Hill, Basingstoke.