We’re showcasing the work of different members of our amazing staff at King's and for Diabetes Week we spoke to Dr Prash Vas, consultant in diabetes and diabetic foot medicine, to find out more about his role.
What does your role involve?
My primary role is to coordinate the diabetic foot service along with two consultant colleagues, enabling specialist teams like vascular surgery and orthopaedics to work with podiatry colleagues and deliver high quality diabetes foot care. The Diabetic Foot Unit at King’s is one of the largest and certainly busiest in the country.
I also actively participate in research, supervise medical students and am responsible for the infection control on two wards.
How long have you worked at King’s?
I started in October 2013, so I’ve been here for almost 6 years now!
What do you enjoy most about your role and working at King’s?
The pace, unpredictability and complexity of our patients and intricate coordination required to link all the different teams is something I relish. But perhaps the most enjoyable aspect is the energy and passion of the team that I work with – they are always there for the patients, often working after hours and always there for you when needed.
What makes the Diabetic Foot Clinic different to other diabetes services?
The King’s foot service was the first of its kind in the UK. The outcome data from the clinic has been a framework around which almost all other diabetes foot centres around the UK are now based upon. We provide the full spectrum of diabetes foot care in the unit – from the first assessment to the most complex vascular and orthopaedic reconstructive procedures. Only a few centres in the world can match our clinical tenacity and academic output.
What advice would you give to people with diabetes?
The best advice I can give:
- Make changes to your lifestyle to help control your diabetes. It is never too late but it’s best to start early - this will help you in the long term
- Learn how to balance the demands of diabetes care in your daily life
- Get regular exercise
- If possible, involve your family or loved ones in your care
- Make sure you have your annual diabetes checks as these will help to prevent serious diabetes complications, such as problems with your feet, eyes, heart and kidneys
- If you have a foot problem, alert your diabetes team or get to a specialist diabetes foot clinic as soon as possible.
What does a ‘normal’ day at work look like for you?
Each day is different. At 9 AM we have the acute foot handover, where I meet with the acute foot team and plan the day by going through all our patients on the wards. After that, I join the vascular or orthopaedic teams (depending on the day) for a ward round. There are joint clinics on most days of the week to support, planning meetings to attend and last minute trouble shooting to be done if an urgent admission needs to be facilitated or a surgery or procedure needs to be brought forward.
I also often I visit the dialysis unit to either undertake a review of the foot problem while patients are receiving dialysis or to help make suggestions on the diabetes management. Of course, being a consultant also includes managerial responsibility.