My career story

Phil Butterworth

Community Specialist Podiatrist

Derbyshire Community Health Services (DCHS)

What was your first job? 

My first ever job was an early morning paper round when I was 13 years old! Over the years I’ve had Saturday jobs, summer jobs while studying, and worked full time in retail, warehouse dispatch and logistics.

How did you get to your current role? 

Podiatry runs in my family. My grandfather used to practice and my father currently does. Both worked for the NHS over their careers before setting up a private podiatry business in Derby. My mother was also a nurse so healthcare is something I am passionate about.   

When I first left college I studied Biomedical Sciences at Leeds University but didn’t enjoy the course or the work I would have gone into. After a few years working I chose to study Podiatry at Salford University as a mature student. The course was tough but absolutely fantastic and I graduated with a first class honours degree. NHS student placements were arranged in Derby so I could meet the podiatry team and get a true feel for the job. This stood me in good stead when applying for a podiatrist role within DCHS.

Did you move across different career paths? 

I have had numerous jobs in different fields, none of which I really enjoyed or wanted to commit to and call ‘a career’. 

Did you face any challenges to get to where you are now? 

The biggest challenge for me was moving away from Derby after earning money working for six years, and getting back into the mindset of being a student without a regular job. I couldn’t get another student loan so all my savings went on rent, travel and living costs, but it was all worth it in the end. I made loads of new lifelong friends and it set me on a career path I truly enjoy. 

What do you do now? 

I currently work as a podiatrist for DCHS three days a week, and work privately the other two. It’s a great balance. There are a lot of areas a podiatrist can specialise in including podiatric (foot and ankle) surgery with further study. I currently undertake routine foot care, nail surgery, orthotic prescription, rehabilitation and high risk wound care. There is always scope to study further and increase my knowledge. 

What is it about your job that inspires you?  

Knowing that I am making a difference and giving back to the community I grew up in, and that my family and I are proud of what I do every day.

What is positive to you about working for DCHS?

Making a positive impact on our patients’ lives is what this job is about. As a podiatrist, patients are genuinely happy to see you and quite often enter the clinic in pain and walk out pain free. It’s extremely rewarding. Sometimes I may be the only person a patient sees all day, and a simple chat is all it takes to lift their mood. The team in DCHS are fantastic and it’s great to be a part of.