YORK and Scarborough have some of the highest rates of diabetic patients having amputations in England, figures have shown.

Nationally thousands of patients may be facing unnecessary leg amputations because of variations in practice around the country, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Vascular Disease has said.

In the York area 4.1 people per thousand with diabetes have had an amputation and 4.2 in the Scarborough area. This places them as having the sixth and fifth highest amputation rates for diabetic patients in England.

Neil Carmichael MP, chair of the group, said: “Too many patients aren’t getting the treatment they need to avoid losing their legs.

“The unacceptably high level of lower limb amputations among people with diabetes in certain areas is a real cause for alarm. There clearly is a serious problem if some regions of England have much higher amputation rates than others.”

In 2012-2013, there were almost 12,000 lower limb amputations in England. The majority of these lost limbs were related to peripheral arterial disease and diabetic foot disease.

Amputations are dependent on where you live, which is dependent on the policies of local health authorities – Clinical Commissioning Groups and NHS Trusts, the report said. Between 2009 and 2012, diabetic patients under the Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group had 48 major amputations - the 16th highest rate in England.

Dr Mark Hayes, chief officer for NHS Vale of York CCG said it was aware of the higher than average rates and said the over riding goal for the wide range of professionals involved in diabetic care was limb preservation.

He said: “Amputations, particularly major amputations, have a profound effect on an individual’s quality of life and self-esteem and the CCG and health care professionals alike are acutely aware of the importance to provide optimal care that will reduce the incidence of amputations.

“We will continue to work closely with a number of specialist staff at York Hospital and other partners to identify and address the issues raised in the latest statistics.”

Meanwhile, Dr Omnia Hefni, local GP and lead for diabetes at NHS Scarborough and Ryedale CCG, said it was working to understand how the situation could be improved.