Role Description & Competencies: Podiatrist

Podiatrists are trained to diagnose, treat, prevent and rehabilitate complications of the feet, ankles and lower limbs. They prevent, manage and correct foot problems, relieve pain, treat infection and keep people of all ages mobile and active.

Podiatrists provide assessment, evaluation and foot care for a wide range of patients, which range from low-risk to long-term acute conditions such as diabetes, rheumatism and cerebral palsy. They are the experts in all aspects of foot and lower limb structure, function and health. This includes people with lower limb bio-mechanical problems, structural deformities, vascular issues, diabetes, arthritis, dermatological problems and infection.

A Podiatry Advanced Practitioner (Podiatry AP) is a podiatrist who may see a patient at their first point of contact or for follow up management as appropriate with the healthcare system. This is in place of the patient seeing another member of the Primary Care team, usually the GP. They will have the skills to assess, diagnose and manage a range of conditions appropriate to their knowledge and expertise and work at an Advanced Clinical Practice level as advanced practitioners (APs). This is defined as “a level of practice characterised by a high degree of autonomy and complex decision making… It includes the analysis and synthesis of complex problems across a range of settings, enabling innovative solutions to enhance people’s experience and improve outcomes”.

What are the benefits of having a Podiatrist in the team?

  • When podiatrists are fully integrated into primary, community, acute and independent care settings, they are able to effectively manage patients, ensuring prevention of complications from  long-term conditions, and reduce the number of unnecessary referrals made to secondary care.
  • Podiatry Advanced Practitioners add to the breadth and skill mix of the primary care team
  • Podiatrists increase capacity in primary care (foot and ankle conditions make up 8% of GP consultations)
  • Podiatrists are able to provide patients with specialist support by providing screening, diagnostics and tailored care plans, consequently increasing patient safety and ensuring access to the right care, closer to home
  • Can support the delivery of the DES and new Service Specifications through a multi-disciplinary team approach to Systematic Medication Reviews, Enhanced Health in care Homes and Early Cancer Diagnosis
  • Podiatrists working within PCN’s would be able to support students on clinical placements from other professions as well as podiatry contributing towards a rich multi-professional learning experience.

What can a Podiatrist do in General Practice?

Podiatrists can:

  • Prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate foot/ lower limb abnormalities and injuries
  • Prevent and delay onset of deterioration of chronic conditions
  • Autonomously manage a changing caseload as part of the PCN’s MDT team
  • Deliver foot health education to patients and colleagues
  • Arrange further investigations/ onward referrals as part of the PCN’s MDT team
  • Use and provide guidance on a range of equipment including surgical instruments, dressings & orthotics
  • Use therapeutic and surgical techniques to treat foot and lower leg issues
  • Prescribe, produce and fit orthotics and other aids/appliances
  • Contribute their expertise in areas such as Diabetic Foot Ulceration, Falls Prevention, MSK/Gait Analysis and Return to Work
  • With additional Advanced Practitioner training in vascular and neurological assessment, Podiatrists could undertake work in areas such as Bio-mechanical Assessment and Independent Prescribing. 

What is the maximum reimbursable amount for primary care organisations to recruit to this role?

£53,724 (with on cost) over 12 months (2020-21)

What is the recommended salary for a Podiatrist?

In general practice a Podiatrist’s salary can be negotiated, although there is an indicative salary of AFC equivalent Band 7.

Is there any additional support available to support the recruitment of Podiatrists into General Practice?

Please visit the Initiatives/Support Available link at the bottom of this page to find out more. 

What are the essential mandatory training/ professional registration & renewal requirements for the role?

  • Mandatory registration every 2 years with Health and Care Professions Council 
  • Must have access to appropriate clinical supervision and professional support which could be provided by an appropriate named individual in the PCN to provide general advice and support on a day to day basis,
  • Comply with national guidance regarding AHP job planning which requires roles to be divided into direct clinical care (individual patient attributable and non-individual patient attributable) and supporting professional activities (clinical service improvement / leadership, CPD, support for other staff including students). The recommendation being that the allocation of time for direct clinical care to supporting professional activities is 80:20.

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