Service information

Aim of the service

The aim of the Service (previously known as chiropody) is to help people to achieve their optimum mobility, increase independence and improve quality of life. This may be achieved by providing advice, education, treatment or specialist referral to assist with the reduction of foot pain or to maintain or improve the function of the foot.

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Will I need to attend more than one appointment?

It is possible that you may need to attend more than one appointment; this will depend on your medical and foot condition.

The podiatrist may:

  • provide a one off treatment at your first appointment and give foot care advice on how to manage your condition at home
  • request that you attend another appointment to address a specific problem.
  • suggest that you attend over a longer period of time in order to regularly monitor your condition
  • refer you to another specialist service such as biomechanics or nail surgery.

If you return for more than one appointment you will receive regular assessments in order to monitor your condition, Once your condition has improved you may be discharged from the service with advice on how to continue to look after your feet at home.

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Who should I contact to alter or cancel my appointment?

If your appointment was made by your GP practice please contact your practice to change your appointment. If you made your appointment through the Choose & Book system please contact the podiatry appointments team on 0300 303 8630.

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What do we expect from you?

Please be aware that, on occasion, the podiatrist may run slightly behind schedule, this is usually due to the unforeseen need to devote extra time to patients with problems that could put their feet at risk of harm. We ask for your patience and understanding on these occasions.

Please cancel any appointments that you are not able to keep so that they can be offered to other patients.

You may be discharged from the service if you do not inform us that you cannot attend your appointment

Tell us about any changes to your medication or general health. Follow the foot care and footwear advice given by your podiatrist.

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How do I raise a compliment or complaint?

The service welcomes your feedback including compliments, comments or concerns - our contact email is dhc.podiatry.enquiries@nhs.net

If you would prefer to talk to someone who is not involved in your care or you would like to make a complaint you can contact the Customer Services Team on 01202 277024 or the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 587 4997. 

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Who is entitled to treatment?

The service provides foot care to individuals who have foot condition or medical condition that puts them at risk of developing potentially serious foot problems such as infections, ulcerations or amputations.

Who is not entitled to treatment?

If you do not have a medical condition that could affect your feet it is unlikely that you are entitled to podiatry treatment.

Where can I get treatment if I am not eligible for NHS treatment?

If you are not eligible for NHS treatment you can contact the Health Professions Council who can provide you with the details of registered podiatrists in your area. Telephone 0845 300 6184 or visit www.hpcuk.org. If you need help with cutting your toe nails you can contact Age UK on 0800 169 6565 or Pramacare on 01202 207300.

I think I am eligible for treatment, what do I do next?

You should discuss your foot concern with your doctor. If your doctor thinks that you are eligible for NHS treatment he/she will send a referral to the podiatry service. Whilst your referral is being reviewed you may be sent an appointment to see a podiatrist in your GP practice or asked to make an appointment through the Choose and Book system in one of our community clinics.

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What is Choose and Book?

Choose and Book is a national booking system which enables patients to choose the time and place in which they are treated. Once you have seen your doctor you may be given a reference number and asked to telephone Choose and Book to make an appointment.

What happens once I have booked my appointment?

The podiatrist will review your referral to confirm that you meet the criteria to be seen for an assessment. If you do not meet the criteria you will be contacted by he service and your appointment will be cancelled. We will also contact your GP.

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Information for patients who are eligible for NHS Podiatry treatment

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Where will I be treated?

We have podiatrista working in 55 different locations across Dorset. If one of our podiatrists works in your GP practice you will be seen there.

If your GP practice does not have a podiatrist you will be offered an appointment in one of our community clinics. If you are housebound and therefore unable to leave your place of residence we will arrange to come and visit you.

What should I do on the day of my appointment?

  • wear your everyday shoes to the appointment
  • as we will be examining your feet and legs it is helpful if you wear loose fitting trousers
  • please wash your feet, but do not apply cream, talcum powder or nail polish as this may prevent you from being treated
  • arrive in plenty of time for your appointment; the podiatrist allocates a specific time to see you and if you are late it is possible that you may not be seen
  • take a list of medication to your appointment with you
  • take a list of your foot goal to discuss with your podiatrist.

What will happen at my appointment?

When you arrive for your appointment you will be asked some questions about your general health, your foot concerns and your foot goals. The podiatrist will carry out an examination of your feet, discuss your condition and the treatment options open to you. It is likely that you will also receive treatment at this appointment. The appointment will last for approximately 30 minutes and you are welcome to bring a carer or relative to the appointment with you.

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Podiatry (foot care)