Ulcer costs in detail

Severe ulcers

Annual cost of outpatient and community care for severe diabetic foot ulcers = £12 million per ICS.

On average, outpatient and community care cost per severe ulcer = approx. £6,400

Of which,

£4,500 is for professional time,

£1,900 is for medications, orthotics, imaging, consumables and patient transport.

These figures are based on ulcer duration of 23 weeks, but some severe ulcers never heal and care is ongoing, so costs will be much higher.


The National Diabetes Footcare Audit shows that the longer people wait for expert assessment, the more severe the ulcer is likely to be, and the less likely that it will be healed at 12 weeks. 

Less severe ulcers heal more rapidly, cause less human suffering, and cost the NHS much less. 

Patient outcomes can be improved and costs reduced with early access to high-quality care to prevent ulcers becoming severe and promote rapid healing. 

Improvements in diabetic foot care can also help ICSs meet key national objectives.