The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a significant initiative in Australia to provide support and services to individuals with disabilities. Established in 2013, the NDIS seeks to enhance the lives of people with disabilities by offering funding for various supports and services.

Podiatry services, a crucial aspect of healthcare, play a vital role in the NDIS framework by addressing the specific foot care needs of individuals with disabilities.

The Role of Podiatry Services in the NDIS

Podiatry is a branch of healthcare that focuses on diagnosing, treating, and preventing conditions related to the feet and lower limbs. For individuals with disabilities, proper foot care is paramount as it directly impacts mobility, independence, and overall quality of life. Podiatry services under the NDIS cover a wide range of interventions to address various foot-related issues faced by participants.

  1. Assessment and Diagnosis: Podiatrists under the NDIS conduct thorough assessments to identify any existing foot problems or potential issues. This includes examining the structure and function of the feet, assessing gait, and identifying risk factors for complications.
  2. Orthotic Services: Many individuals with disabilities may require orthotic devices to support their feet and improve mobility. Podiatrists can prescribe, fit, and monitor the use of custom orthotics tailored to the specific needs of NDIS participants.
  3. Foot Care and Hygiene: Individuals with disabilities may face challenges in maintaining proper foot hygiene. Podiatrists provide guidance on foot care routines and offer interventions such as nail care, callus reduction, and wound management.
  4. Preventive Strategies: Podiatry services within the NDIS emphasise preventive measures to avoid potential complications. This includes education on proper footwear, exercises to maintain foot and ankle strength, and strategies to minimize the risk of injury.
  5. Treatment of Foot Conditions: Podiatrists are crucial in treating various foot conditions, such as fungal infections, ingrown toenails, and skin disorders. Timely intervention can prevent these conditions from escalating and affecting the individual’s overall health.
  6. Collaboration with Other Providers: Podiatrists often collaborate with other healthcare professionals within the NDIS framework to ensure holistic care for participants. This may involve working with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and support workers to address broader health and mobility issues.

Benefits of Integrating Podiatry into your NDIS plan

The inclusion of podiatry services in your NDIS plan brings about numerous benefits for individuals with disabilities:

  1. Enhanced Mobility: Proper foot care and podiatrist interventions improve mobility, allowing participants to move more comfortably and independently.
  2. Prevention of Complications: Regular podiatric assessments and interventions help prevent the development of serious foot complications, reducing the risk of infections, deformities, and other issues.
  3. Improved Quality of Life: Addressing foot-related issues positively impacts an individual’s overall quality of life. It can boost self-esteem, confidence, and a sense of well-being.
  4. Individualized Care: The NDIS’s focus on individualised funding aligns with the personalised nature of podiatric care. Participants can receive services tailored to their specific needs and goals.
  5. Cost-Effective Long-Term Care: Proactive podiatric care can save long-term costs by preventing more extensive interventions or hospitalisations due to untreated foot conditions.

Highett Podiatry and NDIS provision of care.

Highett Podiatry provides services to all NDIS clients, from children to adults. Our podiatrists are all fully trained and qualified in general foot care, orthotics, gait analysis, strength and conditioning, balance and coordination and gait retraining.

Including podiatry services in the NDIS reflects a commitment to comprehensive and person-centred care for individuals with disabilities. By addressing participants’ unique foot care needs, podiatrists contribute significantly to enhancing mobility, preventing complications, and improving overall quality of life. As the NDIS continues to evolve, ongoing collaboration between healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the disability community is crucial to ensure that podiatry services remain integral to the holistic support offered under the scheme. Through a collective effort, Australia can continue to build a disability support system that prioritises individual well-being and inclusivity.

NDIS guidelines resources: