Foot Health Practitioner

People often ask “What is the difference between a Podiatrist/Chiropodists and Foot Health Practitioner (FHP)”?

The simple answer is they both offer a similar service which includes toenail trimming, corn and callus removal, verrucae and fungal treatments and the management of ingrown toenails – in a similar way to Assistant Practitioners (Podiatry) within the NHS. Diabetic foot assessments and monitoring is also carried out by both, along with general advice and guidance on footcare and footwear.

There is no difference in qualification or seniority between a Chiropodist and Podiatrist within the United Kingdom. Both may be qualified to the same standard and both must be regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The term Podiatrist and Podiatry has been adopted in recent years within the UK, over the term Chiropodist and Chiropody, as a more accurate title for the role undertaken. The term Chiropodist originates from the Greek terms Chiro (meaning hand) and Pod (meaning foot). Originally, Chiropodists would treat both hands and feet. However, these days it is more common for the profession only to treat the feet, and therefore, the term Podiatrist has been adopted.

The title Podiatrist and Chiropodist are protected titles by law and may only be used by those who have completed appropriate training and registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. A Foot Health Practitioner (FHP) is often diploma trained and is qualified to work in the private sector to undertake routine clinical work necessary to maintain the health of the foot.

As with Podiatrists and Chiropodists, Foot Health Practitioners should provide their services fully insured and those trained by The College of Foot Care Professionals will use safely sterilised instruments for each patient.

Foot Health Practitioners work with other healthcare professionals for the health and well-being of their patients and customers. Foot Health Practitioners may visit their clients in their own homes and attend to clients in Nursing Homes.

Similar to Podiatrists and Chiropodists, many Foot Health Practitioners establish their own surgery based premises in order to provide a service to the local community. Foot Health Practitioners do not need to be registered with the HCPC, but as such, cannot call themselves by the protected titles of Podiatrist or Chiropodist.

Foot Health Practitioners will often refer patients via their GP surgery to other Allied Health Professionals within the NHS. Within the NHS, patients may be treated by an Assistant Practitioner (Podiatry) or Podiatry Assistant – these are assistants to the Podiatrists and carry out similar duties, although they may be more restricted as to their scope of practice than Foot Health Practitioners in Private Practice. Foot Health Practitioners in Private Practice and the Assistant Practitioner (Podiatry) roles within the NHS cannot prescribe Prescription Only Medications (POMs), but will often refer to a knowledgeable Pharmacist, GP or senior Podiatrist.


If you would like to make an appointment or discuss your treatment needs please contact Kerri on 07982844221 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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