Our foot health team – called podiatrists ­­– treat and care for people whose feet and legs have been affected by injury or illness.

They help people deal with a range of mobility issues, relieve pain and treat infections of the feet and lower legs. They can help with issues ranging from ingrowing toenails to circulation problems.

About the service

We look after people of all ages, but we carry out assessments on who to see depending on your clinical needs.

Our podiatrists are trained to provide education about foot health, as well as offering treatment and advice on conditions affecting your feet and lower limbs.

We make home visits for people with conditions which prevent them from leaving the house.

We plan your care following an assessment. 

Once you've been referred to us, we’ll assess you. This gives us the information we need to plan your care. Our podiatrists will examine your feet and ask you about your medical history.

We base plans for your care on your clinical need, so that we can offer you care which is personal to you. 

If you have another health condition, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or vascular disease, we consider this when we assess what you need.

If we assess you and find that you don’t have a foot problem that requires our help , we’ll offer you footcare and general advice.

If you have a condition which might put your feet at risk, we may provide a plan for your care and treatment or offer advice on self-care and discharge you to your GP.

If you have an urgent concern and are already registered with our service, following an initial referral, we offer 4 dedicated walk-in sessions week in the community. If you need to cancel or rearrange an appointment, please contact us.

You can be referred to the service by:

  • GPs
  • District nurses
  • Social workers
  • Allied health professionals
  • Health visitors.

Referrals should be sent to: ealingcommunity.referrals@nhs.net

We assess all patients who are referred to us before offering treatment.

Podiatry is not generally an urgent service. However, wherever possible, we aim to prioritise referrals marked urgent and where there’s an underlying medical condition which puts someone at high risk.

Our nail cutting service supports patients with significant medical podiatric needs that put their feet at risk of problems. We ensure they’re assessed and treated within an appropriate timeframe.

We identify who can take responsibility for their own nail care, with guidance, and who can’t manage safely without our help. This means that we don’t offer toenail cutting services to most people.

To be eligible for assessment by the toenail cutting service, you must be suffering from significant medical conditions and be unable to provide your own nail care, or for your family members or carer to be unable to provide it.  Significant medical conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Poor circulation (peripheral vascular disease)
  • A history of ulceration, amputation or infection
  • Reduced sensation in the feet
  • Rheumatoid disease
  • Those taking immunosuppressant medicines or with immunosuppressed/immunocompromised conditions, as well as those on anticoagulant medication, for example, warfarin and heparin.

Nail cutting will be provided for people who receive simple foot care because of their medical condition, such as high risk patients with diabetic or vascular pathology. 

The community podiatry service can’t see you for nail cutting if you are/have:

  • Low risk diabetes presentation (absence of diabetes risk complications or requiring diabetes screening), have a low risk foot (that is, no risk factors present, such as loss of sensation or signs of peripheral vascular disease)
  • Partially sighted with low podiatric and low medical needs.
  • Unable to bend to touch your toes, with low podiatric and medical needs
  • Fungal infections of skin and nails 
  • Hard or thickened nails.

We also can’t provide nail cutting if you:

  • Are able to look after your own feet, for example, toe nail cutting and skin care - unless clinically appropriate for high risk patients
  • Have someone, such as a family member or carer, who can provide this care. This could also include paying private podiatrist to provide treatment.
Private podiatry

If you don’t qualify for this service from Ealing Community Partners we can help you find other professionals who can provide the support you need.

You can find a private podiatrist near you on The College of Podiatry website 

Podiatrists can also be called chiropodists. They have the same qualifications and do the same thing.

We provide care, treatment and education for a wide range of conditions, but can’t do so if you:

  • Don't have a foot health problem or a medical condition which puts you at risk of foot health problems requiring continued care
  • Can carry out your own basic foot and nail care or have carers or relatives who can help you
  • Have minor calluses and don’t have symptoms from them
  • Have problems caused or aggravated by inappropriate footwear
  • Have a verruca
  • Have a minor fungal nail infection.

It’s important to educate children about their feet and to treat them early if they have walking difficulties to prevent them from developing problems in later life.

We assess and treat children for a range of conditions. This includes providing services for infections and painful conditions, such as ingrowing toenails.

Conditions we can't provide care for

We can't care for children if they:

  • Don't have a foot health problem (or a medical condition which puts them at risk of foot health problems) requiring continued care
  • Have non-medical issues (things you can resolve yourself) or normal nails
  • Have carers or relatives who can help them with basic foot and nail care   
  • Have minor calluses and don’t experience symptoms from them
  • Have problems caused or aggravated by inappropriate footwear
  • Have a verruca
  • Have a minor fungal nail infection.

For more information, including about toenail cutting, please download this document