Richard Harris

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Richard Harris is a podiatrist based in Oakham, Rutland. Richard gained his Diploma in Podiatric Medicine (DPodM) at the Sussex School of Chiropody (part of Brighton Polytechnic) in 1987, thus affording him eligibility for membership of the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (MChS).

QUALIFICATIONS

Richard Harris DPodM, MChS., HCPC reg. no: CH09863

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Richard’s diploma (now accorded BSc status) was gained after 3 years full time study covering not just “hands-on” clinical skills, but also detailed study of subjects ranging from Human Anatomy and accompanying dissection of the lower limb, to Physiology, Pharmacology, Microbiology, Medicine, Diabetes, Rheumatology, Orthopaedics, Pathology, Anaesthesia and Surgery.

He is also trained to perform biomechanical assessments and prescribe and fabricate orthotics and insoles to help with foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back problems.

Until recently, those whose “qualifications” came from sources that didn’t lead to Membership of the Society (such as correspondence courses with limited “hands-on” training) were not considered to hold the necessary skills or knowledge to hold State Registration or work within the NHS. However, in 2003 the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) offered a “Grandparenting” scheme to these practitioners in an attempt to bring uniform regulation and minimum standards of practice to the Chiropody profession within the U.K.

As a result of this scheme, many of the practitioners who now use the same letters of qualification as those who studied full-time for 3 years, were required to take extra training in order to be allowed on to the HCPC register.

CONTINUED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

All practitioners now on the HCPC register are required to carry out a minimum of around 30 hours of Continued Professional Development (CPD) every year in order to stay on the register. This involves refreshing skills and knowledge, keeping abreast of any changes relevant to the profession, and also learning new techniques as they evolve, ultimately benefiting people who need our services.

Every two years a sample number of the profession is routinely audited to ensure that “CPD” is being carried out.

CURRENT DEVELOPMENT

Richard is currently studying for 2 years (2016) to gain Membership of the Society of Sports Therapists, a diploma award that will give Instep the ability to effectively manage and treat a wider range of musculoskeletal problems arising from either sporting injury or everyday activities.

Skills enhanced or learnt include:

  • Detailed examination and assessment of upper and lower limbs, head, neck, trunk and abdomen massage techniques. Passive movements of the upper and lower limb rehabilitation after injuries, especially (but not specifically) in a competitive environment thermal treatment techniques, Bandaging and strapping, First aid relating to competitive environments and planning treatment programmes.
  • Skill sets such as: Fitness testing, progressive resisted exercising, circuit and weight training programming and the use of water as a therapeutic tool will also be learnt to give a very rounded and grounded knowledge.
  • I believe that this qualification will be of benefit to both  present and future clients alike as we will be able to offer even more detailed diagnoses and treatment regimes for a wider range of musculoskeletal problems.

CAREER HISTORY

Since graduating, Richard Harris has worked in both the public and private sectors, gaining valuable and extensive experience along the way. He was taken on by Brighton Health Authority after graduation, before returning to his home county to work for Leicestershire Health Authority.

Richard then took a job with the Isle of Wight Health Authority, and was promoted to Deputy District Chiropodist for the IOW authority by the age of 25, helping to establish a valued podiatry presence within the island’s Specialist Diabetes Care Centre. He also served on the Wessex Endocrine and Diabetes Association Group, formulating policies on podiatric care for diabetics within the region.

He again returned to Leicestershire in 1993 to work for the NHS, and also set about establishing his first private practice in the area, culminating in a very busy local practice that still thrives today, alongside the footwear business that he and his wife still own.

Richard then sold this practice about 11 years ago, as the success of the whole business was taking up most of his time, and with a young family to think about, he was becoming somewhat disillusioned.

This step back enabled Richard and his wife, Julie, eventually to fulfil their dream of spending some time living in France, where he built up a client base within the ex pat community, whilst also regularly returning to Rutland to work.

The knowledge that Oakham was growing rapidly, and the fact that other local practices were struggling to meet the demand for podiatry and offer prompt appointments, persuaded him that the time was right to come back and open “InStep” in John Street, Oakham.