Major amputation is acknowledged as one of the most destructive complications of diabetes and is something that is sadly on the rise. In response, NHS Resolution has published an important report following a thematic review of clinical negligence claims relating to diabetes and lower limb complications in the hope to improve outcomes for patients with diabetes and reduce the number of claims being made.
As part of the review 92 claims were looked at, all of which involved patients who had a diagnosis of diabetes. The majority of the claims involved patients who had suffered with a diabetic foot ulcer and went on to undergo a major lower limb amputation. Amongst the findings, several key emerging themes were apparent at every stage of the patient journey which included:
- A lack of thorough, evidence-based assessments.
- Poor documentation and inconsistent terminology.
- Absence of integrated multidisciplinary care despite multiple disciplines being involved.
- Changes to the patient’s clinical picture not prompting change in management plan or escalation.
The above themes subsequently culminated in a recurring pattern amongst the claims whereby the severity of the pathology was recognised and the care that followed was not delivered with any urgency.
The report concluded that “there is a well-recognised need to address the current variation in the standards of care that patients with diabetes and lower limb complications receive” with various recommendations being made to try to ensure that consistent standards of care can be provided to all patients with diabetes and a lower limb complication.
You can find a link to the full report below: