We all know that there is only one answer to this question if you have problems with a ghoulish ethereal being. Yes, it’s the Ghostbusters. And if you have problems with your teeth, then it’s the Dentist.
So why is it not the same for problems with feet? Why is there not one answer to the “Who you gonna call” question then? After all, Podiatrists are the ‘Foot Specialists’ like Dentists are the ‘Tooth Specialists’.
Well having spent 30 years treating foot-related problems, I have come to understand that the reasons are many and varied. They involve complexities of NHS vs Private, Protection of Title vs Protection of Function,
Regulated sector vs Unregulated sector, 3-year Podiatry degree vs short ‘Foot’ training courses, internal conflict vs external pressures, generalist care vs specialist care, basic service provision vs top-of-licence working practices, cheap vs expensive, and even jealousy & insecurity vs acceptance & encouragement.
All of this, unfortunately, leads to a bewildered Public, not knowing who to call in the first instance if they have a foot problem. Even if they make the decision that a Podiatrist would be their best option, should they seek NHS services because they are free, or a private Podiatrist who focusses on external foot care, or an MSK/Sports Podiatrist who focusses on internal foot problems, or a comprehensive private Podiatrist who focusses on fixing all foot problems permanently if possible? And for that confusion, I apologise. I’m sorry that my profession doesn’t make it clearer for you to get the help that you want and need to fix your feet.
To help improve this situation for you, I have been advocating for 25 years a tiered structure for all those involved in treating feet. However, this concept, supported by many who treat feet, has been met with a lot of resistance from my peers. It is like the Brexit polarisation of Foot professionals. It creates a rift in healthcare that causes all sorts of negative emotions and actions, such as jealousy, animosity, and even betrayal. These are not the sort of things the public deserves or needs, and I am not proud of my profession for being in this place.
However, the tide has changed recently and tiering of the Foot professions for the benefit of the public is now closer than it ever has been before. This is good news for you. It means that you see the correctly-qualified person for your specific foot-related issue, knowing that if there is any change in health or problem status, then your needs will be met safely and appropriately. This has been my dream for the public during my long ‘Foot’ career and I am proud that my clinic is making the changes required for this to be implemented as soon as it is approved by our governing & regulatory bodies.
Some of you will have already noticed changes at my clinic, and there are more to come as we strive to serve you in the best possible way. As a positive person, passionate about fixing foot-related problems who is hard-wired to help people who value that, I am continually investing in my clinic, my staff, my knowledge, and the tools in my toolbox to help you get better quicker and in the most cost-effective way possible.
The future is bright for those with foot problems, and if you are ever asked the question “Who you gonna call with a foot-related problem?”, then we would love the answer you give to be “Health First Foot & Gait Clinic”. Fixing feet is what we know, changing lives is what we do.