Position Statement on Podiatric Surgery and the scope of Minor Surgery by Podiatrists

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The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (IOCP)

(Founded 1938 as the Joint Council of Chiropodists of Great Britain & Ireland)


Position Statement on Podiatric Surgery and the scope of Minor Surgery by Podiatrists

The Health and Care Professions Council are once again planning to consult stakeholders on the possible annotation of Podiatric Surgeons upon the HCPC podiatry register. In order to qualify as a podiatric surgeon there is extensive postgraduate specialist training conducted over a number of years, leading to the award of a recognised fellowship in podiatric surgery.  It is assumed that such a training route would be recognised for annotation should such annotation come about, and the IOCP fully supports that measure.

In line with the IOCP’s core commitment to developing and enhancing the scope of front-line delivery of podiatry care, minor surgery training by the IOCP is designed to teach the safe and responsible performance of minor superficial surgical procedures by correctly trained podiatrists in an appropriate primary care setting. The training is designed to address the knowledge and skills gap between general podiatry and the more complex procedures requiring a fully trained podiatric surgeon. In order to commence training, applicants must have the necessary prerequisites of POM-A and POM-S or existing annotation on the podiatry register as independent prescribers. The course is designed to build upon the training given at undergraduate level in simple procedures such as basic nail surgery so that successful course graduates can safely and confidently deliver the next level of procedures, such as enhanced nail surgery and the curettage, excision, cautery and electro desiccation of benign superficial skin pathologies. Such procedures are now commonly and safely provided in primary care settings by both medical practitioners with a special interest and suitably trained nurse practitioners.

The Institute teaching faculty includes consultant podiatric surgeons, podiatrist independent prescribers, medical practitioners and advanced scope podiatrists working synergistically to ensure delegates to the course follow an effective taxonomy of learning leading to demonstrable confidence as a safe and responsible independent provider of minor procedures. The course is delivered at appropriate facilities within the Broadgreen Hospital Liverpool, The Sir Robert Peel Hospital Tamworth and the IOCP National training and skills centre Merseyside.  Course content  includes both lectures and practical sessions  in  patient assessment and treatment options, medico-legal issues, recognition of skin lesions and pathologies suitable for treatment, sterile techniques and infection control, skin preparation , appropriate medications and medicines management, dealing with adverse events, advanced local anaesthesia, procedure techniques , haemostasis, wound closure and dressing techniques, specimen management, histology, follow up and reflective self-audit. Mentoring by an IOCP recognised mentor is required for completion of the log-book of procedures necessary for sign-off.

Whilst substantially enhancing a podiatrists safe scope of practice and level of service delivery, the minor surgery course is not designed to meet the requirement for annotation as a podiatric surgeon nor permit the use of such a title, but successful delegates to the course may certainly indicate by a form of words such as enhanced scope practitioner in minor surgery  that they have attained a higher level of training in minor skin surgical procedures.

Approved by Deans and Faculty of the IOCP College of Podiatric Surgeons and Faculty of Podiatric Medicine. November 2019 V.1. Rev 0.