Podiatrists demand national awareness campaign

Podiatrists in the UK are calling for a national campaign to help build awareness of the work they do for patients.

Research revealed that 90 per cent of practitioners questioned across the private and NHS sectors wanted to see more done to promote their profession.

Other key findings from the wide-ranging survey included:

  • 90 per cent say podiatry has a “poor” or “average” level of awareness among the public;
  • 94 per cent want more training and education;
  • 81 per cent would like to be able to offer a wider range of services;
  • 43 per cent want to employ more people;
  • 68 per cent would like business mentoring and support to grow their practices;
  • 85 per cent say work/life balance is their most important work consideration.

The research was carried out by global medical products distributor Algeos. It forms part of Algeos’s Aspire-Achieve-Advance campaign which was launched at the College of Podiatry Conference in November at which Algeos was Principal Sponsor.

More than 100 podiatrists were questioned, predominantly working in private practice but including some in the NHS.

Half of those who took part work as part of a multi-disciplinary team alongside the likes of physiotherapists and orthotists.

A large number have been in the profession for over 20 years and, in some cases, more than 30 years. Forty seven per cent of podiatrists see between 11 and 15 patients a day and 27 per cent are seeing between 16 and 20.

Nail conditions such as fungal nail were the most common complaint followed by corns and calluses. Other regular conditions include MSK-related problems, wound care, heel pain and verrucae.

Hugh Sheridan, CEO of ALG, which includes Algeos among its brands, said: “There are some extremely important findings to come out of our extensive survey.

“Most important of all is the overwhelming belief that the lack of awareness and understanding of the work of the podiatrist is holding back the development of their practices.

“90 per cent of podiatrists would love to see a UK-wide campaign to promote the profession to members of the public to help give them the same visibility that opticians have on the high street.

“As our research shows, many podiatrists are keen to grow their businesses, create jobs and advance themselves through greater training and education.

“Through our Aspire-Achieve-Advance campaign, Algeos is committed to helping podiatrists get the maximum from their working lives.

“There is now a need for our industry as a whole to mobilise to create the national mainstream awareness that the profession is crying out for.”