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FootCare Fife is a volunteer supported toenail cutting service for people who struggle to cut their own toenails.
At a cost of £10 per appointment it is an affordable service run by Fife Voluntary Action (a local charity) and delivered by trained volunteers. The money goes towards covering the cost of equipment, volunteer expenses and so on. We don't make a profit on this service.
Book an Appointment
You can book an appointment yourself or get somebody to do it for you. Appointments can be requested by completing a simple online form here, or by calling us during normal office hours on freephone 0800 389 6046 and ask to book an appointment with Footcare Fife.
Unfortunately, we can't offer home visits, so you need to get along to one of our local clinics. Dates and times can vary depending on space at the venue and the availability of our team of trained volunteers.
Currently, we're holding clinics in the following venues:
Click on the name of the clinic above to see a map showing the location of the clinic.
Other venues and dates are added as new volunteers join the project and our capacity increases.
Why is footcare important?
Our feet are important - on average, most people take 8,000 to 10,000 steps (around 5 miles) a day! In their lifetime, the average person walks more than 100,000 miles - more than 4 times the circumference of the globe!
Poor footcare can lead to various health complications, prevent people from getting out an about easily, or simply moving around their own home. It can severely impact their wider health and wellbeing. Basic 'maintenance' - like cutting toenails - is therefore essential to a healthy lifestyle and life for everyone and can help users avoid the need for medical treatment further down the line.
Good personal footcare clearly contributes to helping older people to remain active, well and independent for as long as possible. Of particular relevance is the role that personal footcare plays in the prevention of falls and fractures and the resultant significant life changing problems these can go on to cause. Good foot health really matters to older people. It can reduce pain, improve confidence, mobility, quality of life and independence with the potential to prevent more serious problems.
Is this an NHS Fife service?
No, NHS Fife doesn't provide a service like this in Fife. In the past some NHS podiatry departments provided personal footcare as part of their core services, however to deliver safe and effective podiatry which ensures people with clinical need are prioritised for treatment, many NHS Boards across Scotland have reviewed and redesigned their services. Anecdotal evidence suggests an unintended consequence of this is a gap of some areas in provision of personal footcare services, such as toe nail cutting, for people who do not have a clinical need for podiatry.
Fife Voluntary Action worked closely with NHS Fife and Fife's Health and Social Care Partnership to develop this service. The training our volunteers undertake and the equipment they use is fully endorsed by NHS Fife and our service is professional and fully insured.
How was this service developed?
Developed in response to the Scottish Government's guidance on providing accessible personal footcare to people in Scotland, the project is administered by Fife Voluntary Action with support from Fife's Health & Social Care Partnership. Part of its role is providing space in NHS and council buildings where sessions can take place. Personal footcare does not require the skills of a podiatrist and we ensure that our volunteers who deliver a personal footcare service have the appropriate skills. NHS Fife Podiatry Services is a key partner in the project and have been involved since the beginning back in 2014.
Planning and delivery of services relies upon effective partnership working between health, social care, the third and independent sectors. Fife's Health & Social Care Partnership is supporting self-care by funding Fife Voluntary Action to develop a personal Footcare service through the Integrated Care Fund.
Following a successful pilot in Kirkcaldy at Whyteman's Brae Hospital, back in early 2014, regular sessions are now up and running across Fife. Given that personal footcare is an individual's own responsibility and would fall into the same category as a "trip to the hairdresser" the project developed with the idea that besides helping people look after their feet, the footcare sessions would offer a friendly relaxed and social experience for some users who may struggle to get out and about for a variety of reasons. As well as getting the footcare they need, the 30 minute session also allows users time for a chat.
Can I volunteer to help with this project?
Across Fife, people from all walks of life have volunteered to support this essential project. Each volunteer spends about half an hour with each client, cutting and filing toenails and applying cream to feet where necessary.
"I became a volunteer in May 2016 with (Footcare Fife). I enjoy helping people and this has given me that opportunity, I have made lots of friends on my journey and I hope I have made a difference to many people." Footcare Fife Volunteer
The service is entirely dependent on our committed volunteers who are recruited and trained by the FootCare Fife team. Training, materials, support and expenses are all provided. If you're interested in helping out please contact: [email protected].