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In 2019, working in conjunction with Health Education England, we gathered as a Consortium of Foot Health Leaders to address the problem of falling recruitment numbers on traditional routes into podiatry.

The priority of the Consortium has been to develop a foot health career ladder and educational resources that will support and increase the number of podiatrists and podiatry support workers in the NHS.

The work of the Consortium has enabled a better understanding of the Workforce that provides foot care, with the aim of optimising this workforce for the benefit of those who use the services of any health practitioner, in England, who work in this arena.

These Standards for the Foot Health Workforce are the result of more than a year’s work to increase the supply of podiatrists in the NHS. We also want to ensure that the NHS recognises the knowledge and skills of the wider foot care support workforce.

The Standards are intended to support the NHS in utilising the full skills mix of the foot health workforce to meet demand, by creating a clear understanding of the foot care treatments that foot health practitioners and the podiatry support workforce can safely perform. The needs and safety of patients is central to this work.

HEE consulted on draft standards between November 2020 and February 2021. We are enormously grateful to all those who responded. We have used this feedback to further refine the Standards which are now published in this document. The consultation feedback was also used to inform their implementation.

These Standards are a considerable achievement, and we would like to thank all those who have contributed so valuably to this work.

Yours sincerely

Beverley Harden, HEE National AHP Programme Lead, Deputy Chief Allied Health Professions Officer, England

Andrew Hill, Programme Lead and Senior Lecturer, SMAE Institute

Steve Jamieson, CEO and General Secretary, The Royal College of Podiatry

Hans Bakker, Canonbury Products Ltd

Tony Gavin, Director OSGO Healthcare

Martin Harvey, Chair of Executive Council, Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists