We are often asked about the difference between a Podiatrist, a Chiropodist and a Foot Health Professional.
Firstly, in the UK, Podiatry is simply a more modern name for Chiropody. The name was changed in 1993 as it is the internationally recognised name for a foot specialist. However, it is not only the name that has changed. Podiatry is a constantly evolving profession. The extensive training given to students over the 3 or 4 years of their full-time degree course and the continuing education after graduation enables Podiatrists to assess, diagnose and treat a vast array of foot and lower limb problems. Alongside the most obvious treatments for corns and hard skin, specialities exist within the profession for almost any lower limb problem. No-one is now permitted to call themselves a Podiatrist or Chiropodist unless they have completed a recognised course and are registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC safeguards standards of care on behalf of the public and sets standards for training, professional skills, behaviour and health. The NHS will employ only HCPC registered Podiatrists.
By contrast, anyone with no prior medical training can setup as a “foot health professional” or “foot care practitioner” after taking acourse sometimes as short as 2 weeks with very little practical tuition. These practitioners are not regulated in anyway and whilst they may seemingly offer similar treatments to a Podiatrist, itis obvious that the level of expertise, skill and training will notcompare. A Podiatrist does not onlylearn how to treat conditions of the leg and feet, but as a result of his/hermedical training understands why the condition has arisen and what can be doneto alleviate future problems. A Podiatrist will often recognise early warningsigns of health problems and refer patients to their GPs.
As well as specific standards for training and continuingeducation, the HCPC and College of Podiatry also have minimum standards ofcare. These include sterilisation of equipment, consent and confidentiality.
To be certain that you receive the best care, check thatyour Podiatrist/Chiropodist is registered with the Health and Care ProfessionsCouncil by checking their name online at www.hcpc-uk.org/check-the-register/
All the Podiatrists at The Foot Room are HCPC Registered Podiatrists. We provide excellent Podiatry assessment, diagnosis and treatment in our Longridge and Broughton Clinics.
The Foot Room specialises in treatments for ingrowing toe nails, fungal nails and verrucae. We offer routine podiatry and chiropody treatment for hard skin, corns and cracked heels. Our clinics in Longridge and Broughton are within easy reach of Garstang, Clitheroe, Whalley, Blackburn, Preston and Fulwood.