For the past few years patients have had a choice about where they go to hospital. If a GP refers their patient to hospital, the patient can choose where to go anywhere in the country. They might choose to have their care where there is a national expert in their condition, shorter waiting times, or that is close to their relatives.
In 2010 the Government made a commitment to extend this sort of choice to some health services which are provided outside hospital. In practice this would mean that when a patient is referred for a particular service (usually by their GP) they should be able to choose from a list of "qualified providers" that meet NHS quality requirements.
In Lincolnshire one of the services which now offers more choice about who delivers care is podiatry and Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) is committed to becoming the first choice provider of NHS podiatry services.
What is Podiatry?
Podiatry is the diagnosis and treatment, by podiatrists, of diseases and other disorders of the feet.
Podiatrists are highly skilled health professionals who have been trained to prevent, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate abnormal conditions of the feet and lower limbs. They also prevent and correct deformity, keep people mobile and active, relieve pain and treat infections.