Foot health practitioner
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A foot health practitioner (FHP) is a private sector provider of routine foot care. The title is most used in Ireland and the United Kingdom. FHPs may undertake training to recognise, assess and treat commonly occurring foot conditions.[medical citation needed]
Training is usually undertaken through distance learning, with practical training delivered in clinics dedicated to this purpose. Many FHPs go on to complete further courses in areas such as biomechanics and cryotherapy. Many foot health practitioners continue their development and remain updated by pursuit of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), despite there being no statutory requirement to do so.[medical citation needed]
Foot health practitioners are not chiropodists or podiatrists, who are subject to regulation in the United Kingdom by the Health Professions Council. As of 2012, the HPC has no plans to regulate foot health practitioners.[medical citation needed]
Type of work
The foot health practitioner performs work which may include but is not limited to nail trimming and correction, skin conditions, heel pain, corns, callus, verrucae, blisters, athletes foot, management of ingrowing toenails (without invasive surgery), diabetic foot assessment and monitoring, treatment of fungal infections, and general advice and guidance on foot care and footwear.[medical citation needed]
FHPs in the United Kingdom
Many privately trained chiropodists have rejected registration and the now-reserved title Chiropodist/Podiatrist in order to continue in autonomous independent private practice, and have adopted the title 'foot health practitioner'. Many others have since trained through private schools as foot health practitioners.
Appropriately trained foot health practitioners can become members of the following professional bodies: the Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (associate membership only—no voting rights) and the Alliance of Private Sector Practitioners (full membership for FHPs and Podiatrists)—Membership of these bodies includes practice insurance and access to Continual Professional Development.Foot health practitioners are autonomous private practitioners.[medical citation needed]