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Podiatrists: Health workers on the frontline

30th March 2020

Two podiatrists pictured at work
Advanced Podiatrist, Krishna and Podiatry Assistant, Charlotte Honeywood

Podiatrist Krishna Gohil, like many other NHS staff is working every day and caring for patients. She is on the frontline treating high risk patients and preventing hospital admissions. Podiatrists are making a huge contribution. She tells us why they are so important.

The Coronavirus has changed the norms of everyday life; what felt like reality is no more. As I drove to my clinic this morning there was an eerie quietness on the roads, with more and more people isolating or working from home as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am frontline staff and work as an advanced podiatrist in the high-risk and diabetic foot team in the National Health Service (NHS).  I have seen first-hand the ongoing impact and ever-increasing pressure this virus is putting on the NHS. It has never been more crucial to use my expert clinical knowledge and skills to minimise and prevent hospital admissions due to foot complications, sparing precious hospital beds.

Today I have been telephone triaging all patients planning to attend the clinic to identify and manage those with a limb-threatening lack of blood supply or infection. This has helped focus our resources to treat high risk patients who need multidisciplinary team input from diabetes and infectious disease physicians, vascular and orthopaedic surgeons and of course podiatrists to deliver potentially life and limb-saving interventions.

I have also been treating high-risk patients with foot ulceration, complicated by infection and poor circulation. In a patient with diabetes, if infection is not appropriately managed, this can lead to devastating consequences such as gangrene, amputation or sepsis. It is important that these patients receive the correct treatment at the correct time to prevent hospital admission and as an independent prescriber, I have been able to prescribe antibiotics to manage both superficial skin and deep bony infections.

It is challenging and satisfying to see the positive impact I can have on these patients, and their gratitude for what I do never ceases to amaze me.

I’ve learned so much since I graduated. My need to learn never diminishes and there are new skills and more knowledge to gain. 

Corona virus notwithstanding – it’s been a good day!

Find out more about Podiatry and how to become a Podiatrist here

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