Lincolnshire community podiatrist wins award from national body for service during COVID-19 pandemic

A community podiatrist from Lincolnshire has won an award from a national body for service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Award-winning podiatrist Sharon Laughton from Carlton Le Moorland. EMN-210510-102105001

Sharon Laughton from Carlton-le-Moorland received the Ernest Runting Award from the Royal College of Podiatry.

Sharon is a podiatrist with Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust and attended the House of Lords for the presentation ceremony on Friday, September 24. The award was for distinguished service, to honour the podiatrists who put themselves at risk to deliver healthcare services and supported the national effort during the COVID-19 crisis.

Sharon who is normally based at Newland Health Clinic in Lincoln, volunteered for redeployment in March 2020 and was placed with Lincoln South Integrated Community Nursing Team based in North Hykeham.

Sharon said: “Myself and many NHS colleagues were redeployed during the height of the pandemic. We were asked to carry out roles out of our comfort zones.

“Despite this and the pandemic situation, I really enjoyed meeting new colleagues, learning new skills and teaching the nurses in my new team specialist lower limb techniques.

“Often I was the only person that my patients saw due to them isolating/shielding and they really appreciated the social contact as they found it hard to be separated from family and friends.

“I felt humbled to receive this award and proud that podiatrists have transferable holistic skills that could be used to make a difference.”

The podiatry service at LCHS provides face-to-face appointments for the most serious cases to treat and helps prevent hospital admissions. Virtual consultations are also held for suitable patients.

David Flunder, who nominated Sharon for the award said: “Sharon was a real asset to her temporary team. Patients were kept out of hospital by NHS workers like Sharon delivering high-level care in the community.

“She has supported essential nursing services when staffing levels were low and improved patient care. Sharon was out there on the front line standing proud and ready to treat patients throughout the pandemic.”

Sharon returned to the podiatry team in May 2021.