Chiropodists, also sometimes known as podiatrists, treat a wide variety of abnormalities and conditions of the foot and lower limb, from verrucas and ingrown toenails, to arthritis.
NHS Chiropody Services
Chiropody is available on the NHS free of charge in most areas of the UK, although the availability in your local area will depend on your Primary Care Trust (PCT).
Each case is also assessed on an individual basis. Whether or not you receive free treatment will depend on how serious your condition is and how quickly it needs to be treated. If your condition is unlikely to affect your health, or mobility, you may not be eligible for treatment.
People with diabetes
Most people with diabetes who need to see a chiropodist are treated as priority cases, although some PCTs will only prioritise people if their diabetes is severe. Your PCT will be able to provide you with more information about their referral policies.
To have treatment with a chiropodist, you will need a referral from your GP, practice nurse or health visitor.
If treatment is available in your area, your case will be assessed, and you will be added to a waiting list. If necessary, it may be possible to arrange a chiropodist to come out to your home. Tell your GP if you will need to have a home visit.
If free NHS treatment is not available in your area, your GP can still refer you to a local clinic for private treatment, but you will have to pay.
If you decide to contact a chiropodist yourself, make sure that they are fully qualified, registered with the Health Professionals Council (HPC) and that they are an accredited member of one of the following organisations:
- The British Chiropody and Podiatry Association,
- The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, or
- The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.