Welcome to the TVS blog written by Natasha Levy, Senior Lecturer & Podiatrist at Department of Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield
On 20th March the University of Huddersfield, like all other universities, closed its campus, whilst still continuing to support and teach students remotely via online lectures, chat rooms and webinars. So what? I hear you say. Well, in the Podiatry department we had another challenge to solve, what do you do when you have a clinic you and your patients can no longer access?
We have a Podiatry clinic where students under the supervision of Podiatry academics care for a range of people with complex medical and tissue viability needs. It was impossible for us to think about shutting our doors completely, but how to ensure no one was put at undue risk?
The solution was to Zoom to embrace virtual consultations (excuse the pun). This is how we now work, patients have been given self care advice, but also have the ability to contact us to arrange a virtual consultation.
It’s been great to be able to continue to see our patients. Although we are now seated in our respective homes it still feels like we are able to offer support, and a video all is miles better than using a phone, where we can sometimes accidentally talk at cross purposes. I’m sure you will agree in the case of tissue viability and wound care a picture tells a thousand words. Being able to chat and actually see the issue, whilst keeping those who need to shield safe has been fantastic and has led us to think about keeping a permanent telemedicine service going even when the doors to our clinic reopen.
So, times have been challenging, but by embracing technology we are still able to support those who need us.