More than 100 people in Dorset have had to have part of a foot or lower limb removed directly because of diabetes in the last three years.

In a report which gives a detailed snapshot of how patients can be affected by the worst complications of the condition, Public Health England said that from 2015-2018, patients in the Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group area spent more than 2,000 spells in hospital because of diabetic foot disease, with a third visiting more than once.

Each of these patients spent an average of eight days in hospital, adding up to a staggering 28,133 days which in turn equates to more than 4,000 weeks.

This indicates a significant increase in the rate of inpatient spells for diabetic foot disease

between the periods assessed.

The vast majority - 70 per cent - of Dorset's cases were treated in the Royal Bournemouth, with 13 per cent in Dorchester and five per cent in Salisbury.

The figures were released by Public Health England as part of their National Cardiovascular Intelligence Network report which shows that the number of major lower limb amputations (above the ankle) continues to rise.

Overall, people with diabetes had 7,545 major amputations over the past three years compared to 6,957 between 2012 to 2015. Statistically, Dorset is generally in line with national figures, and the rate of major amputations was greatest in white males, PHE said.

Dr Jenifer Smith, Programme Director at PHE for the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, 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."

She said the NHS Long Term Plan, launched in January, included a commitment to double the NHS DPP over the next five years. The NHS plans to support 200,000 people each year to reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented by better lifestyle choices: eating a healthy balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.

Dr Smith said that one in six hospital beds are occupied by someone with type 2 diabetes and 22,000 people die early every year in England as a result of the disease.