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A new report has highlighted the importance of podiatrists and other allied health professionals when it comes to addressing the challenges posed by the NHS.
Writing for the Guardian, Gill Hitchcock, a writer for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said that these professionals are already delivering the care that has been outlined in the NHS England’s Five Year Forward View.
She cites a report commissioned by the Nuffield Trust and the Health Foundation, which found that these professionals were in the ideal position to address "the key challenges facing health and care".
However, Ms Hitchcock also highlights how the contribution of podiatrists and other allied health professionals is "obscured" when it comes to the NHS.
Steve Tolan, head of practice and development at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, told the news provider that they can be a cost-effective resource as their work is focused on helping patients, rather than "expensive interventions".
He said that when patients are admitted to hospital, their "world shrinks" to just a bed and a chair, which gives them more opportunities to become unwell through hospital-acquired infections
“Alongside that are lots of issues: fines for hospital that have failed discharges, or burdens on A&E departments where patients are discharged and have to come back in. So you need AHPs to help patients remain active and capable of going home, and to ensure that when a patient is discharged, it’s right first time,” added Mr Tolan.
Podiatrists can be crucial for helping patients in hospital regain their independence, as well as when they return home. As highlighted by the Guardian article, they can offer a valuable contribution to patient care, which comes at an affordable price.
As well as supporting people through foot problems, they can address problems with balance and coordination as part of a wider team of allied healthcare professionals. This will ensure that patients regain their independence and mobility, which can only boost their all-round health prospects and recovery.
Written by Martin Lambert
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