Happy Birthday, Dulwich Podiatry!

This year sees Dulwich Podiatry celebrate its 75th anniversary. Today we take a brief look back at the history of podiatry, Dulwich Podiatry and where we are now.

The origins of podiatry in the UK can be traced back to the early 20th century. Before then, it was practiced mainly by individuals knows as “chiropodists”, who were primarily concerned with treating corns, callosities and other common foot ailments.

In 1912 a group of chiropodists came together and formed the Society of Chiropodists, marking a significant step in the formalization and professionalization of podiatry in the UK. Chiropodists became concerned not just with treating the symptomatic manifestations of pressure on the feet, but also with treating the cause of those foot problems. This started the profession’s evolution, with the term “podiatry” starting to come into use In the 1950s and ‘60s, reflecting the increase in the scope of practice of the these foot experts.

In 1948, the National Health Service (NHS) was established and podiatry (or chiropody as it was still known) became officially recognised as a healthcare profession. It was at this point that Mr Peter Upfold started his chiropody practice in East Dulwich, originally in Melbourne Grove. As well as being trained as a chiropodist, Mr Upfold was recognised as a Medical Auxiliary, which allowed him to work under the auspices of the local Health Authority.

During his practising career, Mr Upfold saw huge advances in podiatry practice. Podiatric education and training improved and specialised podiatry schools were established, many within the health faculties of universities and polytechnics. The introduction of modern diagnostic tools, orthotic devices and surgical techniques enhanced the scope of treatment options available to podiatrists and improved patient outcomes. In 1972, podiatrists were formally granted use of local anaesthetics, enabling treatment solutions such as nail surgery to evolve.

Around 1990, the first degrees in podiatry were established. Now, anyone wanting to practice podiatry must attain a degree from a training establishment recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which regulates podiatry, and remain on the HCPC register.

Along with his wife for many years, Mr Upfold ran the chiropody practice in East Dulwich, firstly in Melbourne Grove and then in its current location in Woodwarde Road, until his retirement in 1989 when the practice was taken over by Mrs A Hurford. Mrs Hurford ran the practice until it was taken over by Debbie Delves, the current owner and lead clinician, in 1995.

Over the past 28 years, under Debbie’s stewardship, Dulwich Chiropody Surgery evolved into Dulwich Chiropody and Podiatry Practice and finally into Dulwich Podiatry Ltd. The team of podiatrists at Dulwich Podiatry are trained to assess foot conditions across all age groups, including those associated with diabetes and arthritis, related to gait or foot structural abnormalities or caused by badly fitting footwear. They specialise in different areas of podiatry, enabling referral within the practice as required. From computerised gait analysis, to assess foot function, to the use of local anaesthetics or steroid injections to relieve painful conditions, the team utilise their unique combination of podiatry knowledge and customer care to ensure they deliver expert care and outstanding outcomes for their patients.

As one of the oldest established businesses in East Dulwich, Dulwich Podiatry has looked after the feet of whole families for the past 75 years and we look forward to doing so for generations to come

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Royal College of Podiatry HCPC registered Podiatrist