Podiatrists are healthcare professionals who treat problems with the feet and lower limbs. Also known as chiropodists, they are able to deal with a wide range of issues such as infected toenails, verrucas and heel pain.
How do you choose a podiatrist?
If you are struggling with problems with your feet, a podiatrist is the place to go. But how do you choose a podiatrist? Here are a few tips:
- Ask friends and family, or local groups – word of mouth is great for making sure you get the best treatment. Recommendations from someone you trust speak volumes and are really important when you’re looking for excellent service. Social media is also good for guidance – look out for lots of positive reviews!
- Check that they are on the HCPC register. In order for a podiatrist to practice legally, they must be listed on the Health & Care Professions Council register. The sole intention of the HCPC is to protect the public, and only professionals who have met certain standards (such as training, professional skills and behaviour) are registered.
- Check whether the podiatrist is accredited.
What is accreditation?
Unlike being on the HCPC register, which is a requirement for all practicing podiatrists, accreditation is a voluntary scheme offered by institutes such as The College of Podiatry (previously named the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists) to their members. The purpose of accreditation is to offer further protection to the public by ensuring the highest standards of care. Accredited practices have to prove that they are complying with important guidelines such as:
- Infection control – this encompasses safe and hygienic management of the practice.
- Providing a safe, clinical and effective clinical atmosphere.
- Abiding by strict health and safety rules.
- Continuing professional development.
This is only an example – there are many more guidelines which must be proven in order to achieve accredited status.
Is accreditation important?
Although accreditation is not a requirement, it is extremely useful in showing that a podiatrist takes their role very seriously and is proud to meet high and exacting standards. Accredited podiatrists can be inspected, and accreditation must be updated every two years. This means that you can be sure that the information is up to date, and you can be confident of the care that you will receive. A podiatrist who has applied for and received accreditation is satisfied that their professional care is of the highest level.
How can I tell if a podiatrist is accredited?
You can search for a podiatrist on The College of Podiatry’s website. If a podiatrist is accredited, there will be an ‘A’ next to their name.
Here at Northwich Foot Clinic, we are proud to have been accredited for over five years. We see this as the gold standard for running a practice in the podiatry industry, and we constantly ensure that the care we provide is exceptional. Click here to learn more about the services we offer.