What is The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists?


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Podiatry is one of many distinct specialties that come together to form the multi-disciplinary care system that is modern healthcare. By specially training podiatrists in the care of the foot, patients have access to a class of specialists able to deal with the ins and outs of foot care, thereby providing both specialist care and relief to other aspects of the health service.

As with any healthcare profession, podiatry is under the purview of the Health and Care Professions Council, a regulatory authority ensuring standards are maintained in podiatric practices across the UK.  Alongside the HPC are other professional bodies which offer podiatrists support, access to further training, and many other benefits. One of these is the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, and this article looks at the role The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists plays in modern podiatric practices in the UK.

About The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists is often abbreviated to the SCP, and is a completely registered and certified Professional Body and Trade Union offering its services to any and all qualified podiatrists registered to the HPC. It is estimated that at present, The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists offers its services to about 10,000 podiatrists in private practice, NHS services, and education.

The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists was originally founded in 1945 when 5 separate organisations representing podiatrists came together to offer a more comprehensive service. The SCP is referred to as a society for both podiatrists and chiropodists to encompass both names for the same profession.

The SCP was recognised by the Ministry of Health in 1954, and since then podiatry has been offered through the NHS. The number of practicing podiatrists has increased dramatically since then, and while various aspects of the service offered have changed, the society remains a fully functional Trade Union representing the interests of podiatrists in the UK.

The role of The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists

The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists has a number of important functions as part of and beyond its capacity as a Trade Union. The SCP is responsible for organising campaigns to improve the provision of foot care in the UK, and part of that is investing time and effort in developing and supporting further education for practicing podiatrists. Extra qualifications can increase the scope of practice available to podiatrists in the UK, which is why continuing education is so important.

The SCP is also involved in ensuring that standards are maintained throughout podiatric practices in the UK. All members are kept abreast of changes in legislation and given guidelines for practice standards. The SCP accredits practices in the UK to both ensure that standards are met for the sake of the public and to improve the quality of podiatric provisions in the UK.

These roles are all very similar to those played by regulatory bodies governing doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in the UK. Organisations like the SCP work to improve the quality of service available to the public, offer their members a Trade Union to represent them, and ensure that the practice of podiatry in the UK is maintained to a high standard.


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