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Increase the supply into podiatry

Recognising the knowledge and skills of the workforce

Future proofing the podiatry workforce

Working together to ensure a sustainable podiatry and foot health workforce.

Background:

Podiatrists are trained to assess, diagnose, treat, prevent and rehabilitate complications of the feet, ankles and associated structures.

The health workforce is caring for an increasingly ageing population, people are living longer and experiencing multi-medical conditions. We are seeing an increase in the demand for podiatry services, however, there has been a significant drop in the number of people applying to enter podiatry pre-registration programmes. With more than 50 per cent of the regulated podiatry workforce employed in the private sector, we are facing a challenge to adequately supply enough newly qualified podiatrists to match current and future demand.

Health Education England (HEE) is working with partner organisations to ensure there is a sustained supply of regulated podiatrists to support the care of patients in the NHS who need their services. The partner organisations have come together, with HEE, to form the Foot Health Consortium (FHC), they are:

  • Canonbury
  • OSGO
  • The College of Podiatry
  • The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists
  • The SMAE Institute

These leaders will support the development of a nationally agreed set of standards for the foot health practitioner and the podiatry support workforce. To do this, a Foot Health Education and Training Standards Group, and a Standards Writing Group have been established. Members of these groups include professional body representatives, educators, clinical managers, clinical practitioners, foot health practitioners and assistant practitioners in podiatry.

We aim to have the draft standards developed by autumn 2020 and will be made widely available for consultation.

Our main objective is to increase the supply into podiatry and also ensure that the NHS recognises the knowledge and skills of the non-regulated workforce.

We would like to invite you to watch the webinar broadcast from the 24 March and afterwards complete the survey which you can access from the link below - thank you in anticipation.

On March 24 HEE held a webinar on Developing the Future Podiatry Workforce.

You can access the webinar here.

The webinar was delivered to provide a platform for invited participants, from service provider organisations (NHS and private sector) and education providers, to discuss the challenges around podiatry workforce supply.

The programme:

 - Welcome – Steve Jamieson, CEO, The College of Podiatry
 - Setting the Scene – Where are we now? A national overview of the HEE sponsored developments – Beverley Harden, Lead AHP Health Education England
 - Podiatry workforce data – Thomas Speller, Deputy Head of Workforce Planning, Health Education England 
 - Health Education England/The College of Podiatry - Workforce Development Programme – Professor Mary Lovegrove OBE, Allied Health Solutions, podiatry workforce project lead
 - Foot Health Education and Training Standards Development – Andrew Hill, Clinical Services Manager and Programme Leader, SMAE Institute 
Developing and embedding private practice placements in podiatry – Dr Beverley Durrant, Project Manager Practice-Based Student Learning, Prosthetics and Orthotics and Podiatry Placements

HEE is keen to capture views from across the foot health sector about sustaining the podiatry workforce supply. To enable us to do this we have created a simple survey based on the webinar for you to complete.

You can access the survey here.