What is Podiatry?

Podiatry focuses on the foot and ankle, but Podiatrists often treat problems in other areas of the body such as the legs, knees, hips or lower back, indirectly, as, when we move, the way the rest of the body moves affects the foot and ankle and the way the foot and ankle moves can affect the rest of the body. Our representative body, The College of Podiatry, has made a short video explaining the role of a Podiatrist.

What qualifications does a Podiatrist have?

Podiatrist and Chiropodist are protected titles in law. It is illegal to refer to yourself as a Podiatrist or Chiropodist without being appropriately qualified and regulated. To qualify as a Podiatrist, it is necessary to complete a 3-year BSc(Hons) Degree. To practice as a Podiatrist, it is necessary to be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC). The HCPC audits our practice and regulates our conduct. You can check our registration with the HCPC here.

What is the difference between a Chiropodist and a Podiatrist?

The terms Podiatrist and Chiropodist are interchangeable. Podiatry evolved from Chiropody and is now a much broader profession. In essence, ‘Chiropody’ is part of what a Podiatrist does in terms of treatments. Chiropody involves the treatment of skin and nail conditions that affect the feet such as corns, painful hard skin and in-growing toenails. However, Podiatry encompasses a much wider range of treatments and specialities such as Diabetic foot problems, sports injuries, musculoskeletal pain, Forensic Podiatry and children’s foot problems. Podiatrists work in specialist fields such as sport, surgery, Orthopaedics, clinical gait analysis and much more as can be seen here. At Walkrite, we specialise in Musculoskeletal Podiatry, but we have a lot of experience in other areas and will still carry out Chiropody treatments where required.

What is the difference between a Podiatrist and a Foot Health Practitioner?

Podiatrists / Chiropodists are not the same as some other clinicians that will treat foot problems such as ‘Foot Health Professionals / Practitioners’ (FHP’s). FHP’s treat foot problems but they are not regulated by law and their training is not standardised. The Professional Standards Authority has issued guidance for patients if you are unsure as to what type of clinician you should be seeing for your foot problem.

Are Podiatry clinics regulated?

Our clinics in Peterborough and Stamford conform with all regulations and standards of practice advised by our representative body, the College of Podiatry, and the Health & Care Professions Council. Our Podiatry clinic in Peterborough is regulated by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as it is based within a private hospital. You can therefore be assured that we are appropriately qualified, regulated and able to give the best advice in the most appropriate environment.