What is a Podiatrist or a Foot Health Practitioner

“What is the difference between a Podiatrist/Chiropodist and a

Foot Health Practitioner (FHP)”?

The simple answer is they all treat feet but have had different levels of training to become fully qualified and are insured by different governing bodies.

A podiatrist or chiropodist would have typically completed a 3 year university degree to gain that qualification, where as a foot health practitioner (FHP) can complete a shorter diploma, for example the SMAE Institute requires 1 year of study to gain the FHP qualification (this is the institute our FHP’s Sheena Evans and Viv Bird gained their qualifications from).

Both podiatrists and FHPs are qualified for routine clinical foot treatments such as nail trimming, corns and callus removal, verrucae treatment, fungal treatment advice and the conservative management of ingrown toenails. The podiatry qualification covers more advanced treatments such as nail surgery, verruca needling and gait analysis.

If you would specifically like to see a podiatrist then please request this when booking your appointment. Our reception team will always clarify if you are being seen by a podiatrist or a foot health practitioner.


Podiatrist and Chiropodists

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.