Benefits of becoming a member of The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists


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The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (also known as the SCP) is a professional body and Trade Union working on behalf of both the general public and podiatrists to improve the all-round provision of foot care here in the UK. Podiatry (also referred to as chiropody) is a field which makes a real difference to the health and quality of life of people across the country, particularly those whose feet are particularly vulnerable to complications like diabetics.

The SCP offers membership to podiatrists registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, another regulatory authority albeit one with slightly different roles. This article looks at the benefits of becoming a member of the SCP, which is useful information for both podiatrists and anyone looking to make use of a podiatrist.

General benefits of SCP membership

Some general advantages to membership with the SCP include access to a nationwide peer-to-peer network. The SCP holds conferences and meetings, and runs active campaigns to promote podiatry, all of which involve members of the profession.

Registration with the SCP puts a podiatrist’s name on a registry, meaning that if a member of the public is looking for a nearby podiatrist, all they would have to do is perform a quick search on the website. This provides easier access to podiatric services, a benefit to both the public and the practitioner his/herself.

Other benefits include a subscription to an informative magazine, Podiatry Now, which can keep practitioners abreast of changes and services offered. The SCP can also offer discounts to conferences and seminars.

Practice accreditation

The SCP offers an accreditation service which basically indicates to the public that a particular practice has satisfied high standards of care and quality. Accreditation is a valuable asset for private practices as it offers potential patients the comfort of knowing that a particular practice has been reviewed and monitored by a regulatory body.

Insurance

Insurance is an important part of modern healthcare, both for individual practitioners and large practices. Membership with the SCP offers a number of benefits in this area, including public and product liability cover, malpractice insurance, and surgical insurance (provided the practitioner has attained all the necessary qualifications to safely perform a surgery). These areas can potentially be covered up to a value of £10,000,000, a substantial sum that would put any practitioner’s mind to ease.

Continuous Professional Development

CPD through courses, conferences, and further qualifications is an important part of any healthcare professional’s practice. CPD can increase the scope of a podiatrist’s practice, allowing some to prescribe certain medications and others to perform surgical procedures.

The SCP is responsible for both providing access to further training programmes, ensuring that courses meet high standards and provide sufficient training to safely qualify a podiatrist for further treatments.

The SCP is also host to a broad range of learning materials, both online and through local branches.

Professional and business support

As a full, independent trade union, the SCP offers support and representation to members when needed. Like any other Trade Union, legal advice is provided by the SCP to help with grievances and other such issues. This includes formal representation when necessary at disciplinary hearings or investigations, on NHS Councils, and other such bodies where podiatric interests are concerned.

Professional support is offered to individuals and to practices. For the latter this can include extensive information and advice on facility and practice management like health and safety, waste disposal, infection control etc.

Business advice is also offered to podiatrists looking to start up a private practice of their own. This include practice accreditation and networking opportunities, advice on setting up the business and the nuances of such and endeavour, and finally as mentioned previously, the opportunity to list the practice on the SCP’s website.


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