The College of Podiatry recently released a landmark report – Podiatry: Driving Value, Improving Outcomes. In simple, but devastatingly honest terms, it revealed the vital role of podiatry in keeping our population active, quite literally saving life and limb, and how, if podiatry is not properly embedded into frontline services, we risk a care catastrophe.

Too often podiatrists are seen as a last resort. Thirty per cent of clinical commissioning groups don’t even have a diabetes foot protection service – and that truly is shocking. Millions of people have no access to specialist care when all the guidance shows that it absolutely needs to be in place.

Truth is, with an aging population, and more and more people living with chronic conditions, the NHS is facing an extra demand it is totally ill-equipped to meet. If more podiatrists were positioned as part of frontline services, they could intervene and support in a much more effective way.

These are not intangible matters – we are talking real results that would make a major difference to people’s lives. In fact, recognising podiatry as a frontline service would doubtless save some from an early and wholly preventable death.

Just look at fall prevention. Not only can biomechanical issues that lead to falls be addressed, but how often do we see the elderly shuffling around their homes in slippers, wearing floppy shoes, or unable to tie shoelaces because of arthritis? These are areas that basic advice can address, preventing accidents or even, potentially, tragedy. That help might be something as simple as using insoles or cushioning pads. Instead, once a person has fallen, they can find themselves bedbound in hospital for long periods, and then facing a long period of rehabilitation. Worst of all, they have lost their independence. Preventive foot care is absolutely key – but people need access to it.

At present, podiatrists can be invisible. We shouldn’t be the Cinderella service of the healthcare profession. Sadly, the millions suffering from foot care issues are not part of a fairy tale. We should be part of emergency foot health now, before it’s too late.

It needs us all to push for change. Hopefully the College of Podiatry report, which you can read in the link here is the start of that momentum. And that is where the Feel Your Feet community can help. We need you to push for change and demand improvements in service.

Together we will give the people of this country the care they deserve.

Be part of it. Join our Feel Your Feet community today.


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