On Thursday 8 September, 2016 HRH the Duchess of Cornwall made a visit to the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM) to learn more about the changing role of podiatry.
As Patron of The College of Podiatry, Her Royal Highness was shown how podiatrists are collaborating with colleagues in other hospitals to provide integrated care for patients. This approach allows the medical professionals to offer a mix of the best elements of complementary and conventional podiatry therapies. The service offers specialist podiatric care within University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and receives referrals from other services at UCLH as well as other hospitals and GPs. Some of the departments they work with include those of dermatology, orthopaedics, oncology, rheumatology, oncology and musculoskeletal medicine.
The College of Podiatry – the society’s educational arm – supports the development of specialisms for podiatrists, allowing them the opportunity to contribute to multidisciplinary teams throughout the National Health Service (NHS).
The Duchess met with UCHL chairman Richard Murley and chief executive Sir Robert Naylor as well as members of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists during her visit. Of her visit, Mr Murley said, ‘We are delighted that The Duchess of Cornwall has visited our hospital to see our podiatry unit carrying out specialist podiatry treatments.’
Her Royal Highness also had the opportunity to meet with the Jay family. Sarah and Tom Jay – whose son is a regular patient of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine – spoke with the Duchess about their 6-month-old, Noah, who is being treated by consultant podiatrist Dr. Tariq Khan for the rare skin condition epidermolysis bullosa, which causes blistering on the feet and body.
Chair of the College of Podiatry, Debbie Delves gave a short speech during the Duchess’s visit, saying, ‘The College of Podiatry is proud to have Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall as our Royal Patron. We appreciate her taking the time to visit us and are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase our profession, to demonstrate the array of specialisms within the profession of podiatry and the importance of good foot health.’
Before leaving the Duchess of Cornwall thanked the College of Podiatry for inviting her to visit, saying ‘It’s been a fascinating trip, and I will have to come back. As I have said, we couldn’t survive without our feet.’
The Duchess of Cambridge has been Patron of The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists since September 2005.