Podiatry puts heart and 'sole' into Homeless Initiative

Published:10 August 2018

The Podiatry Homeless Initiative started in July this year and has so far included the provision of student-led podiatry services to patients in Sydney and Rockhampton.

CQUniversity Podiatry staff and students have shown great enthusiasm in offering free services to people experiencing homelessness, those at risk of being homeless, and those in transitional care.

That's according to lecturer Julie Nguyen who says the Podiatry Homeless Initiative has been operating out of CQUniversity's Sydney and Rockhampton health clinics since July this year.

To date, over 60 podiatry appointments have been offered to patients across the two sites.

"The aim is to provide free-of-charge student-led podiatry services to improve health and well-being," she says.

Ms Nguyen says there have been treatments for people experiencing diabetes, wounds at risk of infection, heel pain, foot pain, corns, calluses and arthritic pain.

"Patients with chronic conditions like diabetes should really be seeing a podiatrist at least once a year because they are at risk of infection or losing sensation in their feet, or complications such as ulcerations," she says.

"There can be a stigma around homelessness, including an association with alcohol or drug issues, but people can experience homelessness for a range of reasons, including escaping domestic violence.

"It's good to be able to expose our students to this marginalised group who don't really get the healthcare access that they require."

Ms Nguyen said CQUniversity's health clinics were working through Homeless Connect Expos and partnering with community organisations to reach potential patients.