A group of Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) experts from across our various client sectors have gazed into their crystal ball and given us a view on how 2021 is looking.
Whilst a patient may be offered an appointment with either a ‘Consultant Podiatric Surgeon’ or a ‘Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon’, the meaning behind a title can be misleading.
Patients offered an NHS or private appointment with a ‘Consultant Podiatric Surgeon’ may believe that they are seeing a qualified doctor, but in the vast majority of cases, they are wrong. What’s the difference between a Consultant Podiatric Surgeon and a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon?
A Consultant Podiatric Surgeon undergoes intensive training but doesn’t necessarily complete years of medical and surgical training, which ‘surgeon’ implies. Podiatric surgeons are professionals registered with the Health and Care Professions Council, a body that itself acknowledges that “the title ‘surgeon’ is not currently legally protected” .
In contrast, a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon is a trained professional registered with the General Medical Council. They will undergo years of medical training before specialising in orthopaedic surgery. When an orthopaedic surgeon treats you, you have the reassuring knowledge that they are qualified doctors with the appropriate medical background to consider both the immediate problem and other factors, such as pre-existing medical conditions, that might lead to complications.
For some patients, such as people with diabetes, foot surgery can be even more problematic, resulting in the need for antibiotics. Foot surgery can also be very painful, making it important that your ‘surgeon’ can prescribe the appropriate pain relief. Despite this, it is a little-known fact that whilst all orthopaedic surgeons can prescribe medication, which in the case of antibiotics could be urgently needed to save life or limb, only some podiatric surgeons who have undergone further training can legally do so.
When asked by the BBC in 2009 to explain why podiatric surgeons were allowed to operate in NHS hospitals the Department of Health advised:
"The Department of Health has previously expressed concern to the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists about the use of the term "surgeon" which is protected for healthcare professionals who have a medical qualification as recognised by the GMC for doctors." 
It is important to recognise that some podiatric surgeons are highly skilled and have undergone the additional training necessary to allow them to prescribe medication legally. As a patient, it is important that you understand exactly who is operating on you, so you are aware of any risks involved with the surgery.
When a podiatric surgeon recommends you undergo a foot operation, you should ask yourself, and them:
- What training have you undergone?
- Are you accredited? And
- If I need life or limb-saving medication, are you legally allowed to prescribe this to me?
At Anthony Collins Solicitors, we have acted for clients who have suffered poor outcomes as a result of negligently performed foot surgery. If you, or someone you know, would like to know more about the services we provide, then please contact us. We are happy to talk to you on an initial free, no-obligation basis.
If you require any further information or wish to speak to any of our team, please contact Christopher Frankling.
Luton Borough Council was prosecuted by the HSE late last year following an incident at a high school in which an assistant headteacher was attacked by a pupil and left with life-changing injuries.
This ebriefing looks at the proposal to set out 'public procurement principles' in the proposed procurement legislation.
Happy New Year - our first newsletter of 2021! Throughout this year we will continue to bring you news and developments relating to the charities sector.
Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Most housing practitioners have perhaps been waiting for this news since the latest lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021.
Climate change and biodiversity is an area where significantly faster changes are needed on a global and local basis.
Chris Lloyd Smith, Adrian Leonard and Lisa Whitehouse discuss the planning opportunities available to owners of businesses and how to prepare for unforeseen events.
In their 3rd podcast of the series, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon discuss a number of problems with and difficulties that can arise in mediation and the mechanisms they use to overcome them.
Our previous round-up began by sharing the news that two vaccines had shown very promising test results. Here we are, not even a month later, and the first vaccines have already been administered!
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.