The Royal College of Podiatry surveys its independent practice members to map the private podiatry workforce

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The survey is open to all members from 12 September to 31 October.

The Royal College of Podiatry (RCPod) is surveying its members who work in independent practice so that it can map the workforce.

The healthcare workforce and delivery models in the UK are constantly evolving and the provision of private healthcare services has experienced rapid growth. Podiatry has an increasingly independent workforce and the RCPod is surveying its members who work in independent practice to better map and understand it as it grows and develops with the needs of the 21st Century podiatrist and in the post-Covid-19 healthcare era.

It will use the data provided by those who do work in private practice to increase its understanding of the private sector to better inform its work. The data will also be used to write the Independent Practice Report (IPR 23) which will be published in 2024.

The RCPod has sent this survey to all members because it wants to find out about the number of its members who work exclusively for the NHS, those who do a hybrid of NHS and private/independent work and those who work solely in the private sector. Those who do no not undertake any independent/private practice work are invited to opt-out of the survey early on.

The survey results will help the RCPod to build an extensive picture of private practice podiatry and these insights will be used to better support its members and promote podiatry to the public. The survey has been sent to all members to find out what if any, private practice work they do. This could range from working in the sector full-time to providing selected locum shifts throughout the year either as an employee, associate or clinic owner.

The survey contains five distinct sections that are:

  • About you
  • Where you work
  • Training, education and research
  • Finances and financial planning
  • Health and wellbeing.

In 2022, the RCPod recruited Emma Clarke, a private practice podiatrist based in the West Midlands to lead on this piece of work. Over several months, Emma has been speaking with members in independent practice and with the College’s Independent Practice Group (IPG) to inform the survey’s questions and approach.

The survey is open from 12 September until 31 October 2023 and all those who complete the survey can opt-in to a prize draw to win:

  • A Runners Need gift voucher
  • An gift voucher
  • Printed planners.

Dr Benjamin Bullen, the RCPod's Head of Education and Professional Development, said:

“This is an extensive survey into how our members who are private practitioners operate and work in 2023. We want to find out as much as we possibly can about how they work, where they work, for how long, and what sorts of clinical procedures and care they offer.

“Our ambition here is to build a strong picture so that we can be better equipped to work effectively with the sector and provide better support and services".

Once the survey closes, all of the data will be anonymised and analysed. The findings will first be presented to the RCPod’s Council before work to write the report starts.

You can take the Independent Practice Survey here.

How is the Royal College of Podiatry going to use and store my data?

The information you provide will be stored securely and kept confidential and you will not be identifiable by the information provided. Only pooled responses will be reported.

Questions around income and financial planning have been included to inform the membership of their earning potential.  Finance data will be reported as averages and will not be individually identifiable.

If there are questions you do not wish to answer, leave them blank and move on to the next question.

Please put ‘N/A’ for any questions that are not applicable.