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Volume 974: debated on Wednesday 21 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will make a statement about the present state of the chiropody service in England and Wales, giving details of those areas or sub-areas most affected by the shortage of chiropodists, particularly where either the service has had to be severely reduced or stopped completely.

There has been a welcome increase in recent years in the number of NHS chiropody treatments. However, there are not enough State registered chiropodists to enable area health authorities to recruit on the scale they consider necessary, whether they do so by employing full-time chiropodists or private chiropodists on a part-time or fee-per-patient basis. This Department, the Department of Education and Science, the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine, the Chiropodists Board, the Society of Chiropodists and other relevant interests are jointly considering ways of increasing the number of training places in schools of chiropody. The numbers of chiropodists employed by area health authorities in England and their numbers per 1,000 population in each area were given in my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Mr. Bowden) on 22 October.—[Vol. 972, c. 107–109.] Corresponding figures for Wales were given in my hon. Friend's reply on 18 July.—[Vol. 970, c. 730.] Statistics by smaller unit are not readily available.