Livewell Southwest is pleased to announce that potential new patients, or their carers and relatives, can now refer themselves to Podiatry Services if they are registered with a GP in the Plymouth, South Hams or West Devon areas.
The benefits of self-referral are numerous and this move to self-referral is part of national requirements which aim to “expand direct access and self-referral where GP involvement is not clinically necessary”. Further, “expanding direct access and self-referrals empowers patients to take control of their healthcare, streamlines access to services and reduces unnecessary burden on GP appointments”.
You can now complete on-line self-referral via our website without prior approval or review by a health professional and health professionals in primary care can signpost patients to the self-referral website in responses to e-consultations and the like.
We also have a wide range of self-care and education materials for a wide range of foot conditions and foot care difficulties, as well as information on transport options and for those with footcare needs the NHS does not locally provide for, information on accessing alternative providers of Podiatry care.
We recognise that not all members of the public will be able to use online services and so there is a telephone self-referral option. We are keen to encourage those who can use the online form to do so, freeing the telephone line for those patients who genuinely cannot use the website.
People who self-refer but do not meet the criteria for care by the service will continue to receive self-care, health education materials and alternative provider signposting as appropriate to their general needs.
Safeguards have been built into the system as is common with other self-referral and e-consultation systems to direct people with an urgent medical matter to appropriate sources of help. This includes screening for sepsis and medically urgent foot and lower limb presentations such as Charcot Joint and critical ischaemia.
You can access the self-referral website here.