First contact podiatry is an exciting concept to add to any podiatrist's career journey, whether it be as part of a portfolio career to grow your skills, part of a hybrid career to develop clinically alongside academia/independent practice/research as examples, as part of the journey to advancing clinical practice or with an end goal of consultant level practice.

First contact podiatrists are usually approximately five years post-graduation and will carry some evidence of enhanced level practice or Band 7 clinical experience. This enables a solid foundation of clinical assessment, diagnostic and management skills ready to be built upon with this ‘new way of working ’in primary care.

The diagram below shows where first contact podiatry usually sits within traditional bandings.

Watch our video to find out about career opportunities in first contact podiatry:

Examples of good skills and development to support the first contact role

Band 7 usually involves evidence of Masters level modules. When considering the specifications of the role on a day-to-day basis, skills in assessment and diagnosis, ordering and interpreting haematological tests, imaging and interpretation, are examples of areas that could complement the role. Injection therapies of the foot and ankle and ultrasound of the lower limb could also be good skills for supporting clinical plans and providing initial treatment for some MSK pathologies of the foot and ankle. Any enhanced level skillsets in diabetes, vascular, wound care, rheumatology, MSK, paediatrics, frailty and dermatology can be built on to develop.

Routes of training for first contact practitioners - postgraduate

There are two routes available: the portfolio route and the taught FCP level 7 module via a university, the latter becoming the more popular route. The portfolio is online introductory modules through ELFH then a portfolio that is developed and overseen by your roadmap supervisor. Find out more about the Stage 1 e-learning module

The taught role is a 10-month Masters level module and is usually multi-professional. Searching for first contact podiatry/first contact practitioner modules should provide you with further information for courses.

Case study: Louis Mamode

In the video below, Louis Mamode discusses his progression into an FCP role and the practitioner's experience

See also:

  • Pathway to primary care.
    HEE’s Roadmaps to Practice set out a development pathway for podiatrists looking to take up roles in primary care – as encouraged by the NHS Long Term Plan, which aims to provide more integrated and collaborative healthcare. The Podiatrist, July/August 2021. P 27-29