Chiropodists, also sometimes known as podiatrists, treat a wide variety of foot and lower limb abnormalities, from verrucas and ingrown toenails to arthritis.
Chiropodists and podiatrists treat a wide variety of foot and lower limb abnormalities, from corns, calluses and ingrown toenails through to arthritis, diabetic ulcers and sports injuries.
Chiropodists and podiatrists work with people of all ages and play an important role in helping older people and disabled people stay mobile and independent.
In most areas of the UK, chiropody is available on the NHS free of charge. However, the National Institute for health and Care Excellence (NICE) has not released any guidance for foot health provision that is not associated with a long-term condition. Therefore, each individual clinical commissioning group (CCG) decides what to make available on the NHS, depending on local need.
Find your local CCG.
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 NHS treatment.
People with diabetes
Most people with diabetes who need to see a chiropodist are treated as priority cases, although some CCGs will only prioritise people with severe diabetes. Your CCG can advise you on its referral policies. All diabetic patients should have an annual foot health assessment either at their GP practice or with a podiatrist or chiropodist.
To have treatment with a chiropodist, you will need a referral from your GP, practice nurse or health visitor. You can self-refer at some NHS departments.
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 for a chiropodist to come out to your home or to have hospital transport take you to your nearest hospital for treatment. Tell your GP if you will need to have either of these arranged.
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 they are fully qualified and registered with the Health & Care Professionals Council (HPC), and that they are an accredited member of one of the following organisations: