Podiatrists in private practice are key workers and as a medical service can continue to work normally as long as they are operating under the Government guidelines, HCPC and the College of Podiatry advice and guidance with regard to the correct procedures, PPE and infection control measures.
Podiatrists train for 3 years at university and achieve a B.Sc. in podiatric medicine they are consequently, registered as an Allied health professional register with the HCPC and can then work as a chiropodist /podiatrist in private practice or the NHS. You can look up your podiatrist on this register. Find my podiatrist at www.hcpc-uk.org.
Registrants on the HCPC register are bound by regulations and must carry out continuous professional development and have an auditing process to maintain registration.
Podiatrists are also members of the College of Podiatry which provides education and guidelines. Many podiatrists specialise and there are many avenues of continuous professional development (CPD) and specialisation that can be undertaken.
Chiropody and podiatry are the same words and have the same meaning. Both terms are annotated on the HCPC register and are legally protected titles. Chiropody is the older term.
Podiatrists are insured to treat the lower leg and foot.
Podiatry is all about Health Education, treatment and prevention.
It is a good idea for all the family to see a podiatrist at least once a year to maintain foot health.
Patients contact podiatry with foot problems or because they want to prevent foot problems.
Podiatrists see people of all ages for advice and treatment.
Many patients are anxious about their first podiatry appointment having often suffered years of pain and discomfort.
Please do not feel embarrassed about your feet, the podiatrist will be very pleased to help you, it is what they train for and what they do best. Many people are concerned with how their feet look and the podiatrist will be able to advise on condition of nails, skin and biomechanics of feet.
Many people have been told that nothing can be done about condition of nails etc this is often not the case.
It is better to see the podiatrist rather than self-treating as often patients are using incorrect products. The podiatrist will direct you to the recommended preparations, emollients etc.
Many patients have specific summer or winter problems such as chilblains or cracked heels. Podiatry prevention is very important in these cases.
Many patients only require one full appointment usually, followed by a check-up a short time later. This is often to check if the treatment is effective and podiatry has been able to resolve the issue.
The podiatrist will explain outcomes of treatment, expected progress and how quickly a problem can be resolved.
Treating foot problems successfully is a two-way process between podiatrist and patient.
Your foot problem may be biomechanical, systemic or caused by trauma or inappropriate foot care or footwear. Dependent on the cause the appropriate treatment pathway can be discussed.
If you are diabetic or have inflammatory joint problems it is important to have regular podiatry.
The podiatrist will help you to understand the gait cycle and how important the correct footwear can be to resolving the foot problem.
Correct footwear can solve many problems from falls to repeated trauma and long-term deformity.
“Patients may need referrals to other health care professionals, but the patient’s best interests are the most important consideration.”