NHS podiatry services in Wales would not normally provide simple nail cutting services. These would only be part of a range of treatments for someone with a complex, significant underlying health condition with a significant risk. Nail cutting would normally be accessed via private or third sector providers (please see section below on independent practitioners).
Podiatry services in NHS Wales are not closed, although routine treatment has been suspended for the time being. Podiatrists in the NHS can be accessed via phone and electronic means. There are local processes for ensuring that emergency or crisis situations can be addressed. Self-care and self-management advice has been made available for those who will need to monitor their health conditions and to prevent deterioration at this time. Further advice can be gained by contacting the usual health services and will be provided by phone or online.
If a patient is experiencing difficulties as a result of not having had podiatry services or a severe urgent problem that cannot be managed remotely, then they are advised to contact their usual provider and discuss their problems with the podiatrists in order for a professional clinical decision to be made as to the need to provide the treatment at this time.
Podiatrists across Wales have made clinical assessment of the situations and conditions where an urgent response would be needed. Patients will be triaged based on a risk assessment and where there is a need to urgently treat someone then this will be virtually wherever possible or via a face to face treatment from specified sites or in the person’s own home.
If the query relates to independent podiatry or other services, in summary, independent practitioners providing medical or health services may choose to continue to provide such services, which may include general nail cutting services, provided they take all reasonable measures to:
- Maintain a distance of 2 metres between any persons on the business premises;
- Only admit sufficiently small numbers to make it possible to maintain that distance on the premises; and
- Maintain a distance of 2 metres between persons waiting to enter the premises.
Welsh Government guidance entitled ‘Taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in the workplace’ and ‘Taking all reasonable measures to maintain physical distancing in the workplace: supplementary guidance’ provides further information on what constitutes a ‘reasonable measure.’ I have provided both links below:
The Royal College of Podiatry updated their guidance on 3 June to advise that independent practitioners can now see all patients, although patients in the lowest risk categories should be seen by remote consultation if possible in the first instance. In face to face situations, independent practitioners need to continue to meet the requirements for social distancing. This guidance can be found at the following link: https://cop.org.uk/news/college-of-podiatry-updates-its-guidance-to-independent-practitioners/