A record number of people in England are having amputations due to type 2 diabetes – with Liverpool the seventh worst city.
There were more than 7,500 major amputations between the years 2015 to 2017- 500 more than the previous three years.
Liverpool had 294 amputations – the seventh highest in the country.
Leeds was sixth with 299, and Northern, Eastern and Western Devon had the most at 420.
Amputations are a last resort to deal with diabetic foot disease, which is caused by type 2 diabetes.
Dr Jenifer Smith, programme director at Public Health England for the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, believes these figures must be lowered.
She said: “It’s a tragedy that so many people are unnecessarily having to face the life-changing consequences of diabetes, such as amputations.
“Survival rates and quality of life for people following such major surgery can often be poor.
“This shouldn’t be happening when the condition is preventable.
“Type 2 diabetes remains the greatest health challenge in this country and many adults are in danger of developing this deadly but preventable disease.”
More than 85,000 patients were admitted to hospital for foot disease, with 33% of them staying in hospital more than once.
Type 2 diabetes is a preventable condition that can be improved, or even reversed, with simple lifestyle changes.
As of 2017, 3.9 million people had type 2 diabetes.
This figure is expected to rise to 4.9 million by 2035, which is the equivalent of nearly 10% of the adult population.
Earlier this year, the NHS released a long-term plan that included doubling work to deal with diabetes.
The programme aims to support 200,000 people each year to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Dr Smith believes the programme has been vital.
She added: “The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme has been hugely successful in providing help and support to those at risk of developing the condition, which is why it’s now being doubled in size.
“It’s important that those providing the service need to work closely with their local public health teams who know their community, to ensure they’re reaching and meeting the needs of those at greatest risk.”
For more information, visit the Public Health England website.