Service information

The aim of the service is to help people to achieve their optimum mobility, increase independence and improve quality of life. This may be achieved by providing advice, education, treatment or specialist referral to assist with the reduction of foot pain or to maintain or improve the function of the foot.

Will I need to attend more than one appointment?

It is possible that you may need to attend more than one appointment; this will depend on your medical and foot condition.

The podiatrist may:

  • provide a one-off treatment at your first appointment and give foot care advice on how to manage your condition at home
  • request that you attend another appointment to address a specific problem.
  • suggest that you attend over a longer period of time in order to regularly monitor your condition
  • refer you to another specialist service such as biomechanics or nail surgery.

If you return for more than one appointment you will receive regular assessments in order to monitor your condition. Once your condition has improved you may be discharged from the service with advice on how to continue to look after your feet at home.

Who should I contact to alter or cancel my appointment?

Please contact the podiatry appointments team on 0300 303 8630.

What do we expect from you?

Please attend your appointment. If you cannot attend, please give us 24 hours notice

Arrive in plenty of time for your appointment; the podiatrist allocates a specific time to see you and if you are late, it is possible that you may not be seen

Please be aware that, on occasion, the podiatrist may run slightly behind schedule, this is usually due to the unforeseen need to devote extra time to patients with problems that could put their feet at risk of harm. We ask for your patience and understanding on these occasions.

Please cancel any appointments that you are not able to keep so that they can be offered to other patients. Telephone 0300 303 8630.

You may be discharged from the service if you do not inform us that you cannot attend your appointment

To tell us about any changes to your medication or general health and t follow the foot care and footwear advice given by your podiatrist.

Who is entitled to treatment?

The service provides foot care to individuals who have foot condition or medical condition that puts them at risk of developing potentially serious foot problems such as infections, ulcerations or amputations.

Who is not entitled to treatment?

If you do not have a medical condition that could affect your feet, it is unlikely that you are entitled to podiatry treatment.

There is a prioritisation of services to service users based on their clinical need.

  • We do not treat nails unless linked to another problem, e.g., they risk causing wounds
  • We do not collect samples for fungal assessment
  • We do not treat verruca
  • We do not treat corn or callous without a medical condition that puts the foot at risk.
  • We do not treat asymptomatic “flat feet” e.g., flat feet but no pain

I think I am eligible for treatment, what do I do next?

You should discuss your foot concern with your GP or other allied healthcare professional. If they think that you are eligible for NHS treatment, he/she will send a referral to the podiatry service. If you are accepted, you will be sent an appointment.

Information for patients who are eligible for NHS podiatry treatment

Where will I be treated?

We have podiatrists working in various locations across Dorset.

You will be offered an appointment in one of our community clinics. We will endeavour to offer you an appointment at a clinic close to where you live. Some of our specialist services are only performed at specific venues so you will have to travel out of your area if you are referred to them. 

In exceptional circumstances home visits may be offered. However, these appointments are limited.

What should I do on the day of my appointment?

  • please attend your appointment. If you cannot attend, please give us 24hr notice
  • arrive in plenty of time for your appointment; the podiatrist allocates a specific time to see you and if you are late, it is possible that you may not be seen
  • wear your everyday shoes to the appointment
  • as we will be examining your feet and legs it is helpful if you wear loose fitting trousers
  • please wash your feet, but do not apply cream, talcum powder or nail polish as this may prevent you from being treated
  • take a list of medication to your appointment with you

What will happen at my appointment?

When you arrive for your appointment, you will be asked some questions about your general health, your foot concerns. The podiatrist will carry out an examination of your feet, discuss your condition and the treatment options open to you. It is likely that you will also receive treatment at this appointment. The appointment will last for approximately 30 minutes, and you are welcome to bring a carer or relative to the appointment with you.

Where can I get treatment if I am not eligible for NHS treatment?

If you are not eligible for NHS treatment you can contact the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

This organisation regulates podiatrists and chiropodists in the UK and was set up to protect the public. The HCPC only registers professionals who meet high standards for their training, professional skills and behaviour.

Whether they work privately or in the NHS, chiropodists and podiatrists must be HCPC registered so you can be sure:

  • they are genuine
  • they meet national standards
  • you are protected.

You can check that your podiatrist is HCPC registered by visiting and clicking ‘check the register’.

there are private podiatrists that offer treatment in clinics or that will visit you at home. Visit and click on ‘find a podiatrist’.

Toenail cutting

If, following your discharge, you need help to cut your toenails, the following organisations may be able to help:

  • Age UK: Telephone: 01202 530530
  • Pramacare: Telephone: 01202 207308

How do I raise a compliment or complaint?

The service welcomes your feedback including compliments, comments or concerns. Our contact email is

If you would prefer to talk to someone who is not involved in your care, or you would like to make a complaint you can contact the Customer Services Team on 01202 277024 or the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 587 4997. 

Podiatry (foot care)