Podiatrists as first contact practitioners

Across the UK the way that people access healthcare is changing, not only to meet the needs of an ageing population living with long term conditions, multi-morbidities and co-morbidities, but also to meet people’s changing expectations of healthcare delivery.

Getting the right advice, from the right clinician, at the right time and in the right place reduces the personal and societal health care burden.

  • Podiatrists are experts in lower limb health and disease, and have the requisite knowledge, skills and training to work as First Contact Practitioners (FCPs) in primary care
  • Employing podiatrists as FCPs would ensure people got the right advice at the right time, and would significantly reduce GP workload; recent evidence demonstrated that referral to podiatry is the third most common referral made by GPs
  • A large public survey found that over 85% of people would like direct access to a podiatrist without going through a GP.

Download RCPod's policy position: Podiatrists as first contact practitioners (November 2020)