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Podiatrists in Edinburgh, do we have enough? | Find Your Stride

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

I'm sure you're aware that healthcare as with most industries is trying its best to recover from covid-19. Obviously this most recent pandemic still isn't past us, however it was the initial stages of covid-19 that I feel hit healthcare hardest. I was a full time NHS employee in north London at the time, and still recall the moment our clinics were cancelled and the gravity of the situation hit. My team as with many other healthcare colleagues were redeployed to the services in greatest need, such as District Nursing or Intensive Care. Unlike my podiatry colleagues working privately we NHS employees did not need to worry about a change in finances or a lack of work, instead we were forced to navigate a new role and inevitable exposure to a virus we knew little about. Private podiatry on the other hand slowly ground to a halt as society shut down and 'non-essential' businesses were closed.

Fast forward two and a half years and podiatry is struggling to find normality as the covid-19 pandemic slows down. NHS podiatry has huge wait times and I understand some private podiatry clinics in Edinburgh are fully booked until August. Although numerous, it feels as though podiatrists and chiropodists in Edinburgh are rare such is the demand for foot care. The situation hasn't been helped by pre-covid funding changes made by the government, which removed financial support given to aspiring podiatrists while they trained. Furthermore the British people took to the roads during the pandemic, with restaurants, shops and bars closed the only activity permitted (for a time) was exercise, meaning we all used our feet more and inevitably developed more foot related complaints.

Podiatrists in Edinburgh and across the UK now face a seemingly endless stream of patients. Of course this isn't much different from normal however, knowing that wait times are currently over one year adds a new level of stress, because people with relatively simple complaints could develop more serious problems while they wait. NHS foot clinics in Edinburgh are currently inundated with calls from people chasing their podiatry referrals. I hear this happening weekly as the admin team in one of my NHS clinics are forced to repeatedly disappoint callers who are in need of help with their feet. Unfortunately, in recent years there has also been a reduction in people choosing to study podiatry following the removal of government funding. This means podiatrists in Edinburgh face a lengthy wait for reinforcements to increase available appointments and reduce wait times.

The obvious need for more podiatrists in Edinburgh was one reason that motivated me to open Find Your Stride. I'm already working full time in the NHS but felt a Saturday foot clinic would create appointments and possibly (with time) offer more Edinburgh podiatrists another place to provide excellent foot care. podiatrists and chiropodists in Edinburgh have, for many years served the people of this welcoming and active city, now more than ever we need to promote podiatry as a profession, particularly in Edinburgh, push to reinstate funding, and work hard to care for our podiatrists once we have them.

Find Your Stride!

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