|Podiatry Support Worker
|Podiatry Assistant Practitioner/Technician
|Advanced Clinical Practitioner (This title must only be used where the staff member has completed the ACP programme/portfolio), Consultant Podiatrist
- NVQ 2/3 in health and social care
Summary of role
Podiatry Assistants provide basic nail care and foot hygiene advice and cleanliness to patients in the community, residential care and hospital settings. They work under the direction of podiatrists to enable the carrying out of foot care and health promotion activities including nail surgery and wound care clinics. This involves some clerical duties e.g. the filing of records, booking of appointments, organising stock, imputing computer information on behalf of the Podiatrist.
Podiatry Assistants hold a delegated responsibility and they are expected to liaise with the local podiatrist or their first line manager to report any incidences that they identify as a concern.
Podiatry Assistants are expected to maintain a high degree of confidentiality in line with Trust policies and procedures.
- NVQ Health and Social care level 3/4
- College of Podiatry Assistant practitioner course
- To be responsible for the implementation of individual care packages, often involving high risk patients, as prescribed by a State Registered Podiatrist, to include nail cutting, filing, drilling, dressings and padding, manufacture of chair side orthoses e.g. silicone devices, insoles and insole templates.
- To provide foot care advice to patients, clients and carers for many of whom there may be communication difficulties as a result of old age, hearing loss, pain, fear, and language or learning difficulties.
- To provide basic foot care training to clients and carers.
- To participate in the nail surgery rota as assistant to the principle operating Podiatrist.
- To review patients for post op dressings, occasionally working independently, but usually under supervision.
- To be responsible for the day to day planning of personal workloads for the completion of home visits and visits to nursing and residential homes.
- To actively participate in high risk foot clinics in conjunction with a lead Podiatrist on duty.
- To assistance in training to Podiatry assistants and other generic helper grades as part of structured, identified educational placements.
- To be responsible for the day-to-day planning of individual clinical caseloads during Nursing/residential and domiciliary visits.
- To work effectively as a member of a multidisciplinary team and laisse with other professions and agencies involved in the delivery of care for the benefit of patients.
- To maintain accurate records of all patient treatments and assessments in the delivery of agreed treatment plans including computerised data collection.
Summary of role
Assistant practitioners or podiatry technicians work under the supervision of podiatrists, but have a greater devolved authority than level 3 assistants. They perform routine clinical duties of basic foot care, vascular and neurological assessments, they are able to participate in the formulation and delivery of basic health education programmes. They demonstrate higher knowledge and skills in specific clinics, for example the manufacture of prescribed orthotics and assist in routine assessments of patients in specialist clinics.
- NVQ Health and Social care level 4/5.
- Foundation degree in Health and Social care.
- College of Podiatry Assistant practitioner course.
- Podiatry technician (additional activities to a level 3 Podiatry assistant).
- To fabricate simple insoles to the specification provided by prescription from the HPC registered Podiatrist.
- To act as liaison between Podiatrists in the Community about the changing materials and techniques available in the appliance laboratory.
- To provide technical support to the appliance laboratory podiatrist during joint sessions.
- To monitor the throughput of the appliance laboratory by the timely entry of data on computer for each device entering and leaving the laboratory.
- To prepare all casting boxes and positive casts prepared by the referring Podiatrist.
- To apply covering materials to all completed moulded foot orthoses.
- To be responsible for the cleanliness and maintenance of all appliance laboratory facilities.
- To comply with COSHH regulations for the safe use of hazardous materials in the appliance laboratory and to ensure that safe practices are used with the appropriate equipment.
- To be responsible for all stock control and materials within the appliance laboratory.
- Podiatry assistant practitioner (additional activities to a level 3 Podiatry assistant).
- To carry out advanced screening tests to enable the assessing Podiatrist to identify the clinical risk value of patients, particularly those at high risk.
- To carry out ABPI tests to inform the Podiatrist of the vascular risk status of patients.
- To carry out pre-designed training packages to Nursing home staff to enable them to understand the role of a Podiatry assistant and a Podiatrists in care for residents in Nursing / residential homes.
- To train all Nursing residential home staff in basic foot care from a theoretical and practical basis.
- To “sign off” nursing / residential home staff as being competent in managing basic foot care activities for residents.
Summary of role
Level 5 practitioners are able to conduct all aspects of routine podiatry clinics under indirect supervision whilst maintaining clinical autonomy; however they would require direct supervision in specialist or high risk clinical environments whether providing treatment, conducting assessment or formulating diagnosis to enable the creation of appropriate care pathways.
- BSc in Podiatry
- To be responsible for the implementation and evaluation of podiatric care to a wide variety of patients with a wide range of clinical needs, for example; people with diabetes complications or complications as a result of poor tissue viability (e.g. Rheumatoid arthritis or vascular complications) in the clinical care of tissue injury by prevention and maintenance care techniques.
- To be responsible for the following an individual care packages and provision of the appropriate foot health education advice to carers, patients / patient groups.
- To use the clinical decision-making process to identify when patients require the intervention of other professional and / or departmental specialist by following agreed departmental referral pathways e.g. acute wound care / biomechanics.
- To undertake nail surgery under local anaesthesia under supervision.
- To manage the day-to-day planning of personal workload.
- To be actively involved in the provision of foot health advice to patients, relatives and carers and to participate in foot health training sessions for Socials services and nursing / residential home staff when required.
- To follow departmental policies and guidelines but have the discretion to make own clinical diagnoses and decisions within clinical and professional boundaries.
Summary of role
Level 6 practitioners work at an independent level and are confident and competent in decision making, possessing clinical autonomy working within routine, multi-disciplinary and specialist clinics. Practitioners have good comprehension and practical skills in all aspects of podiatry treatments including, biomechanics, disease management, wound care and nail surgery. They conduct and plan the assessment of an individual’s foot pathology and general health needs in respect of podiatry and liaise with inter-disciplinary teams to produce and implement individualised treatment plans. They also possess excellent communication skills and supervise grades 3 – 5 staff and students. They will plan and implement relevant health education and report directly to their line manager and also participate in all relevant meetings and focus groups.
- BSc Podiatry
- Recognised Post graduate qualifications in
- Vascular Assessment
- In-bedding Evidence Based Practice
- Local Analgesia
- The Rheumatoid Foot
- Psychosocial Aspects of Care
- Neurological Assessment
- Shoe Fitting
- Clinical Education
- Wound Healing
- Nail Surgery
- The Diabetic Foot
- Applied Clinical Pharmacology
- To assess, plan and provide the highest quality treatment programmes of specialist podiatry care to patients with a variety of needs in a variety of settings including clinic, patient homes, nursing / residential homes, day care centres, hospital wards, GP practices and adult training centres frequently in isolation.
- To be an effective part of the Podiatry team; adhering to Podiatry department and Trust policies, strategies and objectives, and actively contributing to their development.
- To work as part of a multidisciplinary team, and act as a source of specialist advice for patients, carers, GP’s and other healthcare professionals.
- To maintain and improve assessment and treatment knowledge and skills based upon the best practice, particularly specialist knowledge and skills in diabetes, rheumatology, biomechanics and wound management.
- To have individual responsibility, and be professionally and legally accountable for all aspects of clinical work for patients; delegating as necessary and referring onwards in cases where more clinical expertise is required.
All health professionals registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and practising in the UK are required to go through the HCPC registration renewal every two years. This process now includes the requirement to supply a profile on request to demonstrate fulfilment of the standards for CPD set by the HCPC and tested through a sample audit.
The HCPC has defined CPD as "A range of learning activities through which health professionals maintain and develop throughout their career to ensure that they retain the capacity to practice safely, effectively and legally within their evolving scope of practice."
All HCPC registrants were required to engage in (CPD) activities from 1 July 2006. Some Podiatrists will be audited by HCPC every 2 years of registration. Registrants need to record and evidence their CPD activities and, if selected for audit, complete their CPD profile, which will be audited by CPD assessors.
Podiatrists have to provide evidence of CPD relating to their previous two years of practice. The evidence will show how the CPD that has been undertaken by the individual has contributed to the quality of their practice and should demonstrate its benefit to the service user. The standards apply to clinical practice, research, management and education.
HCPC Standards of CPD
A registrant must:
- Maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities
- Demonstrate that their CPD activities are a mixture of learning activities relevant to current or future practice
- Deek to ensure that their CPD has contributed to the quality of their practice and service delivery
- Seek to ensure that their CPD benefits the service user
- Present a written profile containing evidence of their CPD on request
The Interactive Learning Opportunities Database (ILOD) provides a range of CPD tools that will help to produce and to organise evidence of learning. ILOD also has a career planning section based on the post qualifying framework which is a Podiatrist-specific career planning resource.
A reflective tool called "Recording CPD: transforming practice through reflection" is based around the HCPC's requirements for CPD. It can be used to structure ideas, gather evidence of learning for portfolio's and for a profile if CPD is audited by the HCPC.
|Healthcare Support Worker
Senior Healthcare Support Worker
Team Leader / Supervisor
Healthcare Assistant Practitioner
Operational / Department Manager
Advanced Clinical Practitioner
Senior Leaders (Masters Degree)
Hello, I'm Barney Foster and I'm a Community Podiatrist.
What do you do in your role?
Manage and treat my own patient caseload (mixture of active wounds and patients who have greater foot risk). Perform nail surgery and new patient assessments. Currently re-assessing the entirety of our patient caseload to determine continued eligibility for accessing the service.
Have you always worked in this role?
I came into this job in October 2019 as a newly qualified podiatrist as a band 5. Through the COVID-19 pandemic and staff absence, I undertook roles beyond this banding, thus proving my abilities as a competent podiatrist. I have since been made a band 6.
What do you value about progressing your career at MPFT?
I value the prospect of being able to bring about positive change that will benefit our service users in the future (through potentially pursuing management in the near future or band 7 extended scope podiatry work).
What would be your best piece of advice to others seeking a career in podiatry?
Podiatry is a career that has a wider scope of practice than most give it credit for. As podiatrists, we are experts in all aspects of the lower limb and foot; from the anatomy, to the complex pathalogies that commonly present and the treatments needed to resolve these. Routine preventative podiatry, biomechanics (musculoskeletal), wound care, nail surgery, podiatric surgery, forensic podiatry, NHS, private sector. Your career options are endless. If you are passionate about makeing a difference to patients lives and want a career that is challenging, yet rewarding, then Podiatry is the career for you!
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