Caring for your feet during Covid-19 – is it safe to see a podiatrist?
PUBLISHED: 09:21 04 November 2020
If your feet are causing you pain, there’s no need to let Covid-19 stop you from getting the help you need.
Jay Lall is the principal podiatrist and owner of Proactive Wellbeing Clinic. She is keen to help people better understand podiatry and put patients’ minds at ease by explaining the extensive safety measures in place at the clinic.
Q: What is a podiatrist?
A: HCPC (Health & Care Professions Council) registered podiatrists specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the feet and lower limbs; like hard skin, corns and ingrown toenails, as well as preventative care for those with conditions such as diabetes.
Some clinics – such as ourselves – can offer more unique treatments. Using cutting-edge technology, we carry out gait analysis and biomechanical assessments to diagnose any abnormalities in the way you walk.
Q: What’s the difference between podiatry and chiropody?
A: This is a common source of confusion, but chiropodists and podiatrists are basically the same thing. ‘Chiropodist’ is the old term – eventually it will be replaced with ‘podiatrist’.
Q: Why might I need to see a podiatrist?
A: You should visit a HCPC registered podiatrist if a foot problem is impacting your life. The most common complaints we see patients for are verrucae, ingrown toenails, plantar fasciitis (arch and heel pain), flat feet, bunions, corns, hard skin, thick nails and fungal infections.
We’ve seen lots of patients recently for verrucae and nail surgery, as well as for children’s orthotics. People are rarely eligible for these treatments with the NHS and GP’s are limited, so it’s increasingly difficult to get an appointment. Being a private clinic, we can treat our patients instantly.
Q: How important is it to look after your feet?
A: Well-cared-for feet can have a positive impact on your overall quality of life, improving your comfort, mobility, confidence, independence and mental health.
We all rely on our feet so we must take good care of them.
Q: Are podiatry practices open?
A: We are fully operational; all podiatry clinics should be. As an essential medical service, we will remain open regardless of changing regulations.
Helpful answers to more questions about our services can be found on our FAQ page.
Q: Is it safe to see a podiatrist?
A: Podiatrists have always dealt with infectious disease, so we already had hygiene measures in place - these are now even more extensive. We take the safety of our staff and patients seriously and have gone above and beyond to put their minds at ease; even those who are shielding can safely access our services. A comprehensive questionnaire is emailed to patients 24 hours before treatment. We have air filtration; a disinfectant fogging machine; colour-coded zones; autoclaves to sterilise instruments; and a clear pull-down blind to separate patient and podiatrist during treatment. Our staff wear ample PPE, including gloves, face masks and visors and we have sanitising stations and check everyone’s temperature on arrival.