Podiatry covers any painful foot condition or mobility problem related to a foot or ankle condition, especially those complicated by conditions such as diabetes or arthritis.
Our podiatrists work to help specific problems and maintain foot health. Our orthotics service helps those who need support or correction for a physical deformity or weakness. Our teams can give a full range of advice including taking measurements for supportive footwear where appropriate.
The podiatry service provides high quality expert advice and specialist treatment for conditions affecting the lower limb and foot. Our aim is to improve independence, mobility and well-being across all age groups. At an initial assessment the podiatrist agrees an individual management plan with the patient for an episode of care. It involves the podiatrist and patient working together to achieve the best outcomes to improve foot problems and maintain foot health. Encouragement and support for self-care is at the centre of all that we do.
There are a range of different services we provide to help people with every type of foot or ankle problem. If you aren’t sure which of these specialist areas is relevant, don’t worry as we will be able to use the information you or your GP give us on the referral form to make sure you see the right person.
To make an appointment you can either ask your GP to refer you or you can self-refer. Please see ‘How to See a Podiatrist’ below.
What is a podiatrist?
Podiatrists are Allied Health Professionals, who specialise in the assessment and management of foot and ankle conditions and associated disorders.
All podiatrists who work in our team have a minimum of a BSc in Podiatry and are HCPC registered.
A patient’s initial podiatry appointment is an assessment. This may lead to advice, a treatment plan for an episode of care or a discharge from an episode of care. Further onward referral to other specialist podiatrists or other health professionals can be completed.
Our podiatry footwear technicians have received training from the Society of Shoe Fitters. A mentorship led by a Specialist Podiatrist during his time, has given the Footwear Technicians an understanding of the special needs of the foot and ankle. The Footwear Technicians offer a specialist footwear fitting service for adults, using ‘off the shelf’ footwear.
This is an advisory service, offering support for a patient’s individual foot problem(s). The footwear clinic is an opportunity to:
- Measure the feet
- Offer appropriate advice and education of well-fitting footwear
- Enable the footwear to be tried on and purchased/ordered, at the assessment appointment. There is no obligation to purchase footwear from the Gloucestershire Podiatry Services.
Specialist orthopaedic footwear is not hosted by Gloucestershire Podiatry Services. We do not offer a paediatric footwear clinic.
Paediatric podiatrists asses lower limb structure and function. This can include concerns relating to impairment, participation and wellbeing linked to foot, ankle and lower limb health. Guidance is provided on activity, footwear, exercises and the need for orthotic/insole management; underpinned by education.
Clinics are held countywide and can be part of a multi-disciplinary setting. Referral to the service can be for any child up to the age of 18 years via a GP, Allied Health Professional or self-referral.
Diabetes is a long term chronic disease where the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it for energy. This is either because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or the insulin that is being produced isn’t being used properly.
If left uncontrolled it can lead to a number of debilitating foot related complications and problems:
- Diabetic neuropathy – loss of sensation and structural change
- Vascular disease – poor healing and skin changes.
In podiatry we are concerned with the management of the moderate and high risk diabetic groups in particular. The aim is to reduce the risk of complications to the lower limb and foot, for example ulceration and amputation. This is done through regular foot checks, treatment and education.
You should see a podiatrist if you have any concerns with your feet regarding rubs, sores or ulcerations or if you feel you have any changes to your lower limb or foot, for example cramping, pain or unusual sensations.
For patients in the low risk category, your practice nurse will see you annually for a diabetic foot assessment. You do not regularly need to see a podiatrist unless you have any concerns with your foot health.
Nail surgery is a commonly used procedure for the partial or total removal of problematic nail abnormalities.
Procedures are completed under a local anaesthetic with the use of phenol. The aim is to reduce the risk of a recurrence of the problem.
How to look after your feet
This service is for those individuals who have been assessed by the podiatry team and classified with an ‘at risk’, ‘moderate risk’ or ‘high risk’ foot. These patients may require intermittent or long term podiatry advice and care.
Problems often result from a combination of:
- Foot deformities
- Callus and/or corns
- Poor footwear choices or fitting
- Poor vascular status
Please note that Gloucestershire Podiatry Services do not provide a nail care service for those individuals who have been classified as having a ‘minimal’ or ‘low risk’ foot.
A specialist podiatrist in rheumatology can help in several ways; from assessing your feet, prescribing insoles, reducing hard painful skin, giving advice with foot-care and footwear.
If you are seeing a consultant or being treated for rheumatological disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis, or if you have a connective tissue disease such as lupus, and have any foot problems, we may be able to help.
Individuals with symptomatic foot and ankle related problems, are assessed within the MSK clinics and offered an episode of care.
An episode of care may often include a combination of:
- changes to footwear, allowing appropriate insoles/orthoses to be issued
- strengthening exercises or stretching to improve flexibility
- weight loss advice
- an onward referral to other health professionals
Advanced Practitioner Podiatrists within the team are able to request x-rays and when appropriate offer steroid injection therapy.
What are orthotics?
An orthotic, technically known as orthoses, is an external appliance to support a part of your body. An orthoses can take many forms for the foot and ankle. These are:
- Digital appliances
- Foot orthotics
- Ankle supports
- Replaceable pads
These can be made specifically for your foot/ankle or they can be bought ready-made. They are commonly used to support, cushion or relieve pressure from any part of the foot or ankle. They can be a simple pad, a complex ankle support or modified footwear and made from a wide range of materials.
Podiatry Clinic Locations
George Moore Community Clinic, Moore Road, Bourton on the Water, GL54 2AZ
Vale Community Hospital, Dursley, GL11 4BA
Beeches Green Health Centre, Stroud, GL5 4BH
Holts Health Centre, Watery Lane, Newent, GL18 1BA
St Paul’s Medical Centre, 121 Swindon Road, Cheltenham, GL50 4BW
The Health Centre, Dockem Road, Cinderford, GL14 2AN
Fairford Hospital, The Croft, Fairford, GL7 4BB
Kimbrose Way, Gloucester, GL1 2DB
Cheltenham Independent Living Centre
Village Road, Cheltenham, GL51 0BY
Cirencester Hospital, The Querns, Cirencester, GL7 1UY
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
Great Western Road, Gloucester, GL1 3NN
Winchcombe Medical Centre, Greet Road, GL54 5GZ
Cheltenham General Hospital
Sandford Road, Cheltenham, GL53 7AN
The Health Centre, Railway Drive, Coleford, GL16 8RH
The Health Centre, Albert Street, Lydney, GL15 5NQ
Tewkesbury Community Hospital, Barton Road, Tewkesbury, GL20 5GJ
Albermarle Road, Churchdown, GL3 2HE
North Cotswolds Hospital, Stow Road, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0DS
The Health Centre, The Car Park, High Street, GL10 2NG