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Manchester University Foundation Trust

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M13 9WL

What is the MARS programme?

The Manchester Amputation Reduction Strategy (MARS) aims to reduce major limb amputations through the development and implementation of a MARS Commissioning Strategy. This is designed to prevent, manage and heal chronic foot and leg ulcers faster.


The MARS Project has brought together over 40 regional & national stakeholders spanning the health economy and is adapting an innovative IT solution. MARS has been developed following consultation with commissioners, health professionals, academics and industry.

What is the MARS plan?

The MARS plan is based on the principle that an amputation is the culmination of a number of steps and therefore each phase, in the iceberg of disease, leading to an amputation requires an intervention.

Foot and Leg Triage Service

The Triage Service will triage, diagnose and treat the population at risk.  It will undertake a health and social care needs assessment.  In line with the MARS Public Health Framework the triage service will offer lifestyle and risk factor modification programs and be the centre for health promotion in the community for this high risk population. 

Foot and Leg Protection Service

Patients with foot and leg ulcers will be referred to the Protection Service.  Here, there will be three tiers of management; tier 1 (district nurse level) will manage the most basic of wounds, tier 2 (specialist clinics) will be run by specialist podiatrists and tissue viability nurses with the most complex wounds managed at the multi-disciplinary level (tier 3).


Prevention is the key to improving patient outcomes and reducing treatment costs.  There are approximately 2.8 million people living in GM of whom 33.2% are aged 50 and over.  This population of around one million will be the target of the MARS Public Health Framework.  

Proposed Structure

The MARS Public Health Framework will complement the Greater Manchester Population Health Plan 2017. The Plan highlights the importance of poor diet, exercise and smoking as modifiable risk factors to improve population health.

Key Facts

Reduce inequity

Reduce inequity in service provision and outcomes by harmonising protocols and facilitating communication between health professionals and patients through technology

Reduce prevalence

Reduce prevalence of chronic wounds by 15% within 5 years

Reduce amputations

Reduce the amputation rate to the national average within 5 years 

Reduce annual spending

Reduce annual spending on chronic wounds by £70m within 5 years

Patient first

Put the patient experience first

From Our Blog

August 29, 2018

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Clinical Interest I am a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at Manchester University Foundation Trust (MFT).  I have been in Manchester since 2015 and have certainly made my mark – in more ways than one! (just google me).  Whilst I perform the full range of vascular surgery, my main clinical interest and speciality is preservation of the … Read More

by Richard Shorney
August 29, 2018

What is MARS all about?

The Manchester Amputation Reduction Strategy (MARS) aims to save limbs and lives.  Whilst the title suggests the focus is saving limbs, it is, in reality, a comprehensive strategy to heal foot and leg ulcers faster.  The aim is to harmonise services and protocols across Greater Manchester, and, together with a new IT system, bring together … Read More

by Richard Shorney
Manchester University Foundation Trust