LOOKING FOR A PODIATRIST OR FOOT HEALTH PRACTITIONER IN ALDRIDGE – what’s the difference?
As a Foot Health Practitioner working in and around Aldridge, Walsall, I often get asked – what’s the difference between a Chiropodist, Podiatrist and a Foot Health Practitioner.
THE FOOT HEALTH PRACTIONER (FHP)
The FHPs abilities and skills far exceed those trained merely to cut toenails, although this is one of the services I provide. The work of the FHP is non-invasive and focuses on the lower limbs and feet with minor ailments.
We assess foot positioning on walking and also do a thorough examination to determine the structure and condition of the lower limbs and feet. As a FHP I perform minor external surgery without injected analgesia, for treatments such as corn removal or ingrowing toenails. All of this and more falls within the remit of a Foot Health Practitioner.
Many patients require routine foot maintenance, some merely because they can no longer reach their own feet. Others may have problems with their sight, obesity, pregnancy, diabetes, arthritic hands and other debilitating conditions.
The FHP is recognised and respected by colleagues, having ethics that are consistent with other medical professions. Our training allows us to contribute to your healthcare by screening and alerting other health practitioners to potential problems, such as Diabetes, poor circulation, infections, ulceration and other conditions requiring an onward referral.
To ensure my treatment is carried out properly, a full medical assessment is done on the initial visit to confirm no medical complications exist requiring more specialist knowledge. I follow strict hygiene procedures and communicate with you frequently regarding your care, treatment and follow up. I am trained to manage and care for minor wounds and provide dressings and padding as required.
As an FHP’s I undertake regular professional development to update and expand my skills in line with current practice and I’m also a member of the Alliance of Private Sector Workers, an accredited register that is independently vetted and approved by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA).
THE PODIATRIST / CHIROPODIST
In the UK, Podiatry is recognised as the new name for Chiropody; it is the internationally accepted term for the profession by which disease and pathological conditions of the feet and lower limbs are addressed. The Podiatrist can take on patients with more complex problems than that of a FHP and where this is recognised, a referral will be recommended. Some Podiatrists choose to specialise in areas such as Paediatric Development, Vascular Neuropathy and Diabetes.
The full skills of a Podiatrist are usually only required by a small percentage of the general public presenting with foot problems. Podiatrist’s and Chiropodist’s are regulated by the HCPC, a regulator set up to protect the public. To do this, the HCPC keep a Register of health and care professionals who are required to meet their standards for their training, professional skills, behaviour and health.