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NHS Chiropody Services

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment she has made of the extent of (a) the effect of changes to the eligibility criteria for access to NHS chiropody services and (b) regional variations in access to NHS chiropody services; (111849)

(2) how many (a) contacts and (b) new contacts there were between NHS chiropodists and patients in each of the last five years;

(3) what recent progress her Department has made towards establishing high street drop-in centres for chiropody;

(4) what plans she has to undertake a full review of NHS chiropody services; and if she will make a statement.

No central assessment has been carried out or is planned for this service. It is for local national health service trusts in partnership with local stakeholders to determine how best to use their funds to meet national and local priorities for improving health, outlined in the national service frameworks, and to commission services accordingly. This process provides the means for addressing local needs within the health community including the provision of chiropody.

‘Our health, our care, our say’, set out the future direction for healthcare. The implementation will address improved access to allied health professions, including chiropody. We are establishing pilot sites for the introduction of self-referral to physiotherapy. Lessons learnt from these pilots will be applicable to other therapies and we will be working closely with the professions on this.

Information about chiropody contacts is available in the NHS chiropody services summary information. The following table is taken from that information. The collection of these data was discontinued in 2005. Data about face-to-face contacts were discontinued in 2000. Information continues to be collected centrally for reference costing purposes. However, this is not separately identifiable.

NHS chiropody services summary information (KT23)

Number (thousand)

Initial contacts1

First contacts2

2004-05

769

2,035

2003-04

800

2.116

2002-03

823

2,163

2001-02

828

2,213

2000-01

834

2,262

1 New episodes of care.

2 Different persons seen in the year.