Podiatrists specialise in the foot, ankle and leg, leading the patient care through the whole journey including prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Podiatrists work in a variety of places and can work with a team of people including doctors, nurses and physiotherapists.
A Podiatrist’s primary aim is to improve the mobility, independence and quality of life for their patients.
Podiatrists working in primary care can support patients with a wide range of conditions including Diabetes and Rheumatology as well as wound care.
To practise as a podiatrist, you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). To register with the HCPC, you first need to successfully complete approved degree-level training in podiatry.
You can train through an approved full-time or part-time pre-registration university course in podiatry or a degree apprenticeship in podiatry.
Must have a BSc to work as a podiatrist in all settings.
Health Education England Primary care FCP training must be completed as the minimum threshold for entry to primary care and be supported by appropriate governance and indemnity.
Health Education England primary care FCP training can begin 3-5 years after the completion of a postgraduate degree
Supervision for Podiatrists in Primary Care
Appropriate supervision will be required for all podiatrists working in Primary Care.
Existing GP Educational supervisors are able to supervise podiatrists undertaking FCP and AP roles and do not need to attend additional training.
GPs who have completed the First Contact Practitioner Supervisor Development course can provide clinical supervision to podiatrists undertaking FCP and AP roles.
Benefits to patients
Access to screening, diagnostics and tailored care plans
Increased access to the right care, closer to home
Patients are kept active and mobile
Support people to manage their condition so that they can recover faster and stay in work and/or return to work earlier
Receive education and advice on inappropriate footwear, which can contribute to poor balance and an increased risk of certain conditions or risk of falling
Prevent and correct deformity, relieve pain and treat infections.
Benefits to PCN’s
Work with other healthcare professionals such as dieticians, GPs, nurses and physiotherapists
Relieve pressure on other primary care colleagues
Help reduce patient attendance at the practice by intervening early and helping them stay well
As highly skilled healthcare professionals, podiatrists within primary care reduce pressure on GPs through their ability to prescribe independently. This significantly reduces demand for GP appointments and home visits and provides patients with direct access to the medicines they need, when they need them.
Benefits to the wider NHS
Prevention of complications from long-term conditions and reduction in the number of unnecessary referrals made to secondary care
Early interventions within the community to reduce A&E attendances and unnecessary hospital admissions by facilitating early detection and intervention of potentially lifethreatening conditions.