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Podiatrists (or Chiropodists)

A podiatrist and a chiropodist are the same thing. Registered podiatrists (or chiropodists) are trained in all aspects of care for the feet and lower limbs.


When Should I Visit a Podiatrist?

If you are having problems with your feet and think that you need treatment from a podiatrist (or chiropodist), you should discuss this with your GP. If you are experiencing problems with taking care of your hands or fingers nails, you should also speak to your GP. They may be able to arrange free treatment for you on the NHS. However, there may be a waiting list. Also, as each case is assessed individually, whether or not you receive free treatment depends on how serious your condition is and what the risk factors are.


Using an NHS podiatrist (or chiropodist)

In Newcastle, the NHS Podiatry Department is a community-based service which provides footcare to people living in Newcastle. There are clinics at various locations throughout the city.

You must be referred to the Podiatry Department by your GP. Once you have been referred, you may initially be invited to an introductory presentation where you will be given advice and guidance on self-care and on the service. At this stage, you may decide that you don’t need the service, or you may require a more detailed assessment where any future treatments can be planned and discussed.


Podiatry Treatment

Treatment options may include:

  • Foot health advice for you and your carer
  • Referral for foot surgery
  • Referral for nail surgery
  • A biomechanical assessment, which studies how you walk
  • Appliance manufacture, such as providing bespoke insoles
  • Footwear advice
  • Treatment by Podiatry Assistants
  • Treatment by Podiatrists
  • Diabetes assessment

The time between your appointments will vary, depending on your individual foot conditions. This may mean that some people are seen only once a year, whilst others, who may be at risk of ulceration, are seen more regularly. Relatives or carers are welcome to attend appointments with you if you think you need some support.


Using a private podiatrist (or chiropodist)

If you want to pay privately for podiatry/chiropody treatment, you can ask your GP to recommend a local state registered podiatrist (or chiropodist). Alternatively, you can contact The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists for details of podiatrists in your area who are registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC). Remember to ask how much the treatment will cost before you agree to have it done.


Other Useful Information

Information NOW section Healthy feet


Other Useful Organisations

  • NHS 111 is the new telephone service which has replaced NHS Direct. You can call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergency. NHS 111 is a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.
  • NHS Direct provides a website for health and medical advice. This service can help you to treat a non life threatening medical condition at home.

Please note – The content on this website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you are feeling unwell, make an appointment to see your GP or contact NHS 111. In an emergency, dial 999.

Last updated: January 23, 2017

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