Leeds Teaching Hospitals People

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Helena Meally

Podiatrist

Across our hospitals and the wider NHS, Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) play a key role in the delivery of care by providing specialised services such as speech therapy, chaplaincy services and physiotherapy. Podiatrists at LTHT are AHPs who care for people with foot conditions. They work alongside nursing staff, clinicians and other AHPs to help ensure the right treatment pathway is there for our patients.

"Building relationships with other specialities is key to ensuring a holistic approach is taken when delivering treatment, by working together we can get the best clinical outcomes for patients," said Helena. "One of the best things about working at LTHT is the co-location of services, meaning that the different areas of medicine and surgery which complement each other tend to be under the same roof."

"The best part of the job is seeing the positive impact my work makes on the lives of patients. It's a great feeling to know that I have helped make a difference to their lives," explained Helena. "I am also fortunate to work alongside a great team here at the Trust. There's a really positive culture and everyone's dedicated to putting the patient at the heart of care."

"Podiatry is a fairly unique role in the sense that we see both adult patients and children. The case mix is varies, with some in our care being high-risk and have to look after wounds, while others may have issues that can be resolved simply," explained Helena. "For the more complex patients, I may have to refer them to doctors or surgeons working in different fields and this is why communication and maintaining positive working relationships is so important."

"With more and more people developing diabetes, we see a lot of patients who suffer with the condition coming into our care. For most, symptoms can be managed with a good diet, lifestyle changes and education. In bad cases however, patients may require feet to be amputated," Helena said. "We try and avoid this if at all possible and referrals for this kind of surgery are not made lightly, but for some patients, it's the least harmful course of action."