A Manifesto for Podiatry

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The RCPod’s manifesto calls for the next government to prioritise podiatry to support preventative healthcare

The next government must acknowledge the podiatry workforce crisis by recognising its vital role in preventative healthcare and providing additional support for podiatry services, the Royal College of Podiatry (RCPod) said today as it launches its 2024 manifesto.

The RCPod is clear: podiatry has a transformative and life-saving impact on patients and service users. However, after over a decade of cuts to NHS services, the workforce is contracting, and podiatrists are burned out and facing unsustainable pressure. The ultimate losers? Those from socio-economically deprived areas are paying the cost of increased illness and health inequality. 

The RCPod’s manifesto calls for more funding, support, and promotion, but it is much more than that. It is a call on the next government to step up and back the profession if it is to play the key role that the future of healthcare delivery will demand of it.   

The RCPod believes that increased coordination between primary care and community services will help prioritise early detection, physical activity for all and preventative care, leading to better patient outcomes and efficiency within the NHS. Podiatry stands ready to help the next government take bold steps toward integrating the ethos of preventative healthcare in communities across the country. Still, the profession needs real and lasting backing to help solve these challenges. 

Our Ambition 

The next government must: 

  • Enhance funding for podiatry services to enable increased preventative care, especially in areas of socio-economic deprivation 
  • Raise the profile of podiatry within the healthcare system and encourage the commissioning of services in all disciplines of podiatry, enabling prevention, early detection, and physical activity 
  • Raise the profile of podiatry with the public, and promote the concept of holistic health through increased mobility and physical activity for all 
  • Acknowledge the role of podiatry in preventative healthcare 
  • Acknowledge the podiatry workforce crisis 
  • Encourage new podiatry education programmes in areas of need, and foster cross-sector placements 
  • Develop a clear strategy for recruitment and retention 
  • Improve integration of pathways between primary care and community services to ensure early detection and prevention are at the forefront of care.

Jane Pritchard, Chief Executive & General Secretary, Royal College of Podiatry says: 

“The next government has an opportunity to reform UK healthcare. If it wants to tackle the many long-term conditions that people in this country live with, a focus on prevention and early detection will be essential. Podiatry can deliver this. 

Our profession can help to significantly improve patient care and assist the NHS in its ambitions to deliver a sustainable, preventative healthcare model. We are ready to work alongside government to advise and support a strategy to improve public health in the short and long term.” 

You can read the RCPod's manifesto for the 2024 general election here.