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Assessment by a podiatrist

Assessment by a podiatrist

What do podiatrists do?

Podiatrists, also known as chiropodists, are health care professionals who assess, diagnose, treat or prevent disorders of the feet and lower limbs. The role of a podiatrist is to help people of all ages stay mobile and independent.

A podiatrist may treat conditions of the foot such as corns, calluses or ingrown toenails, provide special orthotics to support the foot, or provide advice and treatment to people who are at high risk of developing foot problems, such as people with diabetes.1,2

Where do podiatrists work?

Podiatrists may work in a variety of settings, such as hospital departments or clinics, health centres or GP surgeries. Some podiatrists visit nursing homes or may visit people in their homes to provide treatment.

Podiatrists may work for the NHS, or in private practice. Eligibility for free treatment on the NHS depends how serious your condition is and how urgently you need treatment.3

How do I get an assessment from a podiatrist?

In most cases, you should discuss your problem with your GP first. Your GP can refer you to a local NHS podiatrist, or can refer you to a private podiatrist in your area.

If you would like to find a podiatrist yourself, make sure they are registered with the Health Professions Council (see below) and are a member of either the The British Chiropody and Podiatry Association, The The College of Podiatrists or The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.3

How do I know if a podiatrist is registered?

In order to practice legally in the UK, podiatrists must be registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC). The HPC is responsible for the conduct, performance and ethical behaviour of its registrants. Podiatrists who do not meet the standards of practice, conduct and behaviour required by the HPC are removed ('struck off') from the HPC register.4 Visit the HPC website to check the registration status of a podiatrist.

Advice last checked: 29 January 2018 Next check due: 29 January 2021

References

  1. The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists 2008  A Guide to Podiatry
    View reference   Last visited:  25/02/2015 Evidence type: 2
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