About podiatrists in general practice
Podiatrists are the experts in all aspects of foot and lower limb structure, function and health. They are highly skilled health care professionals trained to diagnose, treat, rehabilitate and prevent disease and complications of the feet, ankles and lower limbs. They 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. They can develop and embed services that extend the ability of GPs and primary care teams, and provide a focus on prevention and early intervention.
How can podiatrists help patients?
There are lots of ways podiatrists working in primary care can help patients. These include:
- minimising the impact and consequence of long-term conditions
- preventing and delaying onset of deterioration of chronic conditions
- maintaining and maximising patient’s mobility
- helping to reduce the number of falls
- enabling independence which can lead to improved quality of life and reduced social exclusion
- reducing the need for secondary, surgical or pharmacological interventions
- reducing hospital admissions and unnecessary hospital referrals
- supporting patients living with long-term conditions
- helping to keep people mobile and in work
How do GPs benefit?
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 care they need when they need it.
Can a podiatrists prescribe medicines?
Working within primary care settings, podiatrists are able 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.
How can I get an appointment with a podiatrist?
Please contact your GP practice who will be able to advise you on how to be referred to see a podiatrist.