THE number of people having limbs amputated because of diabetes is at an all time high with more than 600 people in Dorset during the last six years.

The figures released by charity Diabetes UK show there were a total of 313 between 2013 and 2016.

That number rose by five from 308 in the previous three-year period.

Diabetes UK said the number of diabetes-related amputations in the south west is at an all time high with approximately 3210 procedures being carried out between 2013-2016 - an increase of 388 on the previous three years.

The charity has shared the statistics for its Putting Feet First campaign, which aims to encourage people with the condition to look after their feet as findings reveal hundreds of people in Dorset and across the South West are not aware that foot ulcers are a serious complication of diabetes.

The survey, conducted for Diabetes UK by YouGov, found that while 81 per cent of people in the south west of England know that an amputation is a major complication of diabetes, 28 per cent did not know that people with diabetes are susceptible to foot ulcers, which when unhealed are responsible for as many as four in five diabetes-related amputations.

Annika Palmer, Diabetes UK south west regional head, said: “Diabetes-related amputations devastate lives.

“While it’s positive that the majority of people in the south west are aware that an amputation is a complication of diabetes, it’s very worrying that so many don’t know the dangers posed by foot ulcers.

“That’s why it’s essential that people living with diabetes in the south west know how to look after their feet, and that they check them daily.

“It’s also crucial that they know to seek urgent medical attention if they notice any problems with their feet.

“Early intervention can make the difference between keeping and losing a limb.

With the right support, four out of five amputations are preventable.”