The College of Podiatry response to updated GP contract

The College of Podiatry welcomes the announcement that podiatrists along with other Allied Health Professions (AHPs) have been included within the updated GP contract in England for 2020/21-2023/4.
The primary care system across the UK is under strain and needs to be re-shaped in order to meet the healthcare needs of the population. The updated contract ensures there will be increased funding for additional staff roles within GP practices, enabling Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to employ additional AHPs to support GP practices.
The College’s Chief Executive, Steve Jamieson said, ‘This is great news and a recognition of what podiatrists can bring to support primary care, not only around musculoskeletal complications affecting both children and adults but also within a variety of long-term conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease management, dermatology, falls prevention, public health messaging and social prescribing.’    

Podiatrists can be deployed to work as the first point of contact practitioners (FCPs), either through direct access podiatry services in the community or as part of a multidisciplinary team operating around a GP cluster. The FCP model has benefits to the patient of rapid access to the right person, at the right time, in the right place, ensuring they receive tailored advice, treatment and onward referral as appropriate.

We expect that any podiatrists who are employed through this route are paid at the appropriate Agenda for Change (AfC) pay band as per the job matching process which should have been undertaken in partnership with the NHS trade unions. They should also be on AfC terms and conditions with access to the NHS pension scheme.

We welcome the protection of TUPE which provides staff reassurance and job security whilst also providing patients with continuity of care.