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Private Practice placement for University of Brighton Podiatry student

20th March 2020

University of Brighton Podiatry students were offered a private practice placement as part of their clinical training while studying for their BSc (Hons) in Podiatry. Jennifer, a student podiatrist at the University of Brighton completed her placement at Beute Podiatry.

How did Jennifer enjoy her placement at Beute Podiatry?

Jennifer said: “I enjoyed participating in the pilot. The competencies that were developed were challenging and appropriate. I found the private practice owner, Hannah to be very good at explaining why we were doing what we did. Hannah was easy going and easy to get on with. I learnt a lot from her. I got to see orthotics being manufactured on site and was able to participate myself under Hannah’s supervision.

The set up between the practice and the university was easy to manage and I felt that I could have got help from the university if I needed it. The placement was well organised, and I was well briefed before going on placement, so I had no need to ask the uni for help. I did have a midway phone call review from my university tutor.

It was good to know that there was a practice education facilitator that we could also contact if we needed to. My understanding is that we could have contacted Diane at any point during my placement for support. As it happened, we did not need to, but it is reassuring to know that the offer was available should we have needed it.

I have noticed that NHS patients are high risk, but that some people who were physically unable to do their own nail care were being discharged, so private practice is essential to help with this. Also, on my NHS placement, podiatrists don’t have as many resources available to them compared to the private practice where you have the option to treat patients using a variety of different instruments and equipment.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my placement and will be returning to the same practice for a second placement In the Spring of 2020. I hope I will be able to complete some nail surgery sessions then.”

The University of Brighton volunteered to be part of the placement pilot for several reasons.

A University of Brighton spokesperson said: “I think the pilot has offered us the opportunity to engage with private practitioners for the first time regarding a hands-on clinical placement, proving to ourselves that this approach can work in practice. The pilot offered students an opportunity to experience a wider range of clinical practice than the NHS provides – examples would include nursing homes, sports clubs etc.”

About the project

This Challenge Fund project is to help increase the pipeline of podiatry placements. The project is linked with other national projects to grow the number of students taking up places to train as podiatrists. As a result of engagement with stakeholders a four-point plan was developed. The work streams included supporting practice educators who currently provide practice placements, securing new placement opportunities, developing private practice opportunities and exploring supporting students on placement in diverse settings. The project had four partners, The University of Salford (who led on the project) The University of East London, The University of Brighton and BMet College.

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