ARRS Roles - Podiatrists
Podiatrists are healthcare professionals that have been trained to diagnose and treat foot and lower limb conditions. Podiatrists provide assessment, evaluation, and foot care for a wide range of patients, which range from low risk to long-term acute conditions. Many patients fall into high-risk categories such as those with diabetes, rheumatism, cerebral palsy, peripheral arterial disease, and peripheral nerve damage. NHS England
According to the Royal College of Podiatry (rcpod), podiatrists can prevent and manage foot problems, relieve pain, treat infection and support foot irregularities, to keep people of all ages mobile and active.
Podiatrists are ideally placed to use their expertise in primary care settings by developing and embedding services that extend the ability of GPs and primary care teams to provide a focus on prevention and early intervention, and help to-
- Minimise the impact and consequence of long term conditions
- Prevent and delay onset of deterioration of chronic conditions
- Maintain and maximise mobility
- Help to reduce the number of falls
- Enable independence leading to improved quality of life and reduced social exclusion
- Reduce the need for secondary, surgical or pharmacological intervention
- Reduce hospital admissions and unnecessary hospital referrals
- Support patients living with long term conditions
- Keep people mobile and in work
- Reduce the burden on GPs and primary care teams.
Working within primary care settings, podiatrists are competent to prescribe medicines independently, providing patients with direct access to the interventions they need. This is not only valuable to patients but increases capacity within primary care settings by relieving pressure on GPs and primary care teams.
Podiatrists have a unique understanding of medicines management as it is a significant component of the podiatry undergraduate curriculum. Around 5000 podiatrists have access to medicines exemptions, which is a graduate qualification, and many go on to take further qualifications in supplementary and independent prescribing. Podiatrists are established non-medical prescribers and have a history of safe, effective practice.
An audit evaluating 1000+ non-medical prescribing episodes, identified that for patients seen by an allied health professional, including podiatrists, 20 per cent avoided the need for a GP appointment and 11 per cent avoided the need for a GP home visit.1 This demonstrates the huge impact which non-medical prescribing offers.
Training and Development
According to NHSE, the most popular way into podiatry is through an approved degree course or a Master’s degree in podiatry. It usually takes two to three years full time and over four years part-time. Once you’ve successfully completed your degree you’ll need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) before you can start practising.
A Road Map to Practice
Must have a BSc to work as a podiatrist in all settings.
· HEE Primary Care FCP training must be completed as the minimum threshold for entry to primary care and be supported by appropriate governance and indemnity.
. · HEE Primary Care FCP training can begin 3-5 years after the completion of a postgraduate degree.
The capability framework clearly articulates capabilities so that employers and workforce planners can understand what the clinicians can offer to the multi-professional team to enable the best care for their patient population. It also provides clear guidance of the expected supervision needed to support the roadmap to practice and outlines the bespoke supervision training that a supervisor needs to have completed.
Example of a Job description