Affordable footcare clinic plugs NHS gap and raises money for charity Age UK
PUBLISHED: 12:51 01 May 2018 | UPDATED: 12:51 01 May 2018
A podiatry service in Newham is trying to do good for the local community – by providing cheap footcare.
Completefeetcare in Barking Road was set up by two former NHS workers, who’d spent 18 years in the service.
Ian Jones and Jonathan Griffin left to set up their centre, finding other clinics in the area to be overpriced.
“When the NHS services were changed, thousands of people in Newham were discharged, and a lot of the clinics on offer were so expensive,” Ian said.
“Most clinics charge £75 for a first appointment – we charge £19.99.”
A restructuring of community health services in Tower Hamlets meant that, following consultation with residents, changes were brought into podiatry care provision.
In east London there are a large number of patients with diabetes – which can lead to rheumatism and even amputation – meaning that quicker and greater access to footcare was needed.
A triage system was introduced for those with less serious needs, and those at the lowest end of the scale were directed towards podiatry clinics, as well as being given self-management workshops and guides.
After doing their research, Ian and Jonathan decided to provide a discounted service.
The colleagues set up Completefeetcare with funding from an orthotics company, pledging to provide genuinely affordable care for those in need.
The majority of their patients are elderly people, who can’t support themselves.
A fifth of the clinic’s takings goes to charity Age UK.
“Adults know how to get support, and children have parents to look after them, but elderly people often don’t know how to access this support,” Ian said.
“They’ll neglect their problems until they end up in hospital, which ends up being costly.
“We want to highlight that we’re social warriors – we have to see two to three people to receive what a normal podiatry clinic would. We’re working very hard just to allow people to have an affordable care service.”
Jonathan, the pediatrist, and Ian, the foot health practitioner, provide nail cuttings, verucca treatment and diabetic medical care at the clinic, but also do home visits across Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney.