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Chiropody Card Changes September 2020

Changes to Chiropody Card Charges – September 2020

Our clinics follow all the College of Podiatry and HSE guidelines. We deliver the same high level of care to all our patients. The Chiropody card scheme is exclusive to Co. Dublin. If you hold a Chiropody card the health board pays €22.88 towards your treatment. Up until now patients have paid a supplementary fee of €25. This still falls short of our private patient fee of €60.We ask you to look upon your card as a supplement towards your fee. Hayes & Associates wish to advise that as of 1st of September 2020 we will be balance-billing fees. This means any Chiropody card holder will pay a fee of €37.
We appreciate your understanding in this matter
Hayes & Associates

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Post lockdown opening

Post lockdown opening

We are delighted to reopen and to be able to deliver care to our lovely patients again. There is no business or individual that has not been affected by Covid19, this is our story. We have spent weeks preparing the clinics and have gone above and beyond The College of Podiatry & HSE guidelines to ensure the safety of our patients and staff.

We have spent thousands of euros on all of the clinics and introduced many safety measures and protocols (these are available on request in the clinics if you wish to read them). There are now Perspex screens around the front desks and a discrete barrier between the patient and Podiatrist during treatment. PPE has been provided for staff and patients and there is no shortage of hand sanitiser!

We have altered how the clinics are run. In our Balbriggan & Drogheda clinics we previously had two practitioners working per day. Routinely we would see patients every 20 minutes, this created a busy hubbub and often filled seats in the waiting rooms. In order to accommodate social distancing and reduce potential cross infection we have stripped it down to one Podiatrist per clinic and seeing patients every 30 minutes. This means, the previous patient should have left the clinic before the next one arrives and allows for the extra cleaning between consultations.

The loss of revenue during the lockdown and the cost of all the changes have been immense. However, we felt we wanted to create the safest possible environment for everyone to ensure we can continue to give the highest standard of care. We always wish to be transparent and highlight that there is no profiteering. We have always used PPE (masks and gloves), but the cost of PPE has rocketed and therefore we have had little choice but to pass on part of that to our patients. Each patient, at present will pay an additional €5. Due to the backlog of patients and demand of appointments, we ask that, when possible patients pay by credit/debit card on the phone when making their appointments. This again reduces cross contamination and time spent in the clinic waiting area.

We understand that this is a difficult and unique time for everyone. We appreciate your understanding and aim to continue to provide the best care for our patients.

Best wishes and keep safe Hayes & Associates x

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Guest lecturers at NUIG

Guest lecturers at NUIG

In early 2018 myself, Katy Angeloni (Podiatrist & Practice Manager) and Donal Hayes (Podiatrist & Owner) were approached by The Discipline of Podiatric Medicine, NUIG. Galway is the only place in the ROI that students can study Podiatric Medicine at present. The university asked if we would give a lecture to the fourth year students about the practicalities of running successful private Podiatric clinics.

Donal founded Hayes & Associates 30 years ago and I have been working with Donal for over 16 years. Donal lectured on the practicalities of starting a business and what is required. I focused on the day-to-day life of being a Podiatrist in Private practice. After a combined 46 years of treating patients we are still enthusiastic about providing the best care to our patients and ensuring that patients continue to choose our clinics.

As a result of these lectures we have now been asked to become mentors to the fourth year students and will be hosts to them on their placements starting in a few weeks. This will be of mutual benefit to all of us. It will give invaluable experience to the students about the realities of private practice and the real life world of work when university is finished. For ourselves, it will give us access to the crème de la crème of Podiatry students graduating; after all we only employ the best and most passionate Podiatrists.

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Making a difference in people’s lives

I really enjoy making a difference in people’s lives

In this article Marisa Murray reflects on her first year working as a podiatrist with Hayes and Associates.

As we see the summer come to an end, we welcome October as another busy month for our podiatry clinics. Today, marks my one-year anniversary working with Hayes and Associates. It also marks my first year working as a podiatrist after graduating in 2018 from NUI Galway. The clinics have been consistently busy since I have started which has allowed me to gain invaluable experience from the get-go.

I have discovered over the past year, that as a podiatrist, no day is ever the same. Day to day, patients present with various problems where it is my job to gather information, make a diagnosis and then form a treatment / management plan. The aim is to hopefully come up with a solution to that presenting problem. It can be challenging and involves problem solving which keeps my mind busy. This means my day is varied and interesting. I work alongside other healthcare professionals such as GPS, public health nurses and orthopaedic surgeons whom I refer people to if I feel its necessary.

The podiatry profession appeals to me on many levels as it involves working with people of all ages on a one to one basis. The job ultimately makes a big difference in a person’s quality of life. I get huge satisfaction in taking peoples pain away. One small intervention can often take that pain away on the spot. Not many other health care professionals can provide this instant relief. Patient education is also a big part of my job. Appropriate footwear is discussed with patients very regularly. I find it rewarding when a patient feels empowered to look after themselves after listening to my advice.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year working as a podiatrist with Hayes and Associates. I feel I have become a well-established member of the practice and now have my regular patients, many who I have built a great relationship with. I am lucky to be part of a team of experienced podiatrists who willingly share their knowledge and expertise to allow me to keep learning and progress in my profession.

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Footcare for Diabetics

How does diabetes affect my feet?

We ensure that our clients with diabetes get the proper and targeted treatments to maximise foot health.

Footcare for diabetics

At Hayes and Associates our Podiatrists routinely carry out neurological and vascular checks on patients’ feet, however for those with diabetes, our assessment is more in-depth. We test circulatory and neurological efficiency, as well as assess the general health and appearance of the skin and nails. We ensure that our clients with diabetes get the proper and targeted treatments to maximise foot health.

Based on the results, we will give the patient advice on how to look after their feet from day to day, and advise them on how often to have their assessed and treated. For anyone with diabetes, it is recommended to have their feet checked at least once a year.


How does diabetes affect my feet?

Diabetes can affect your feet in a number of ways – the most common being sensory neuropathy – loss or reduced sensation in the feet, and /or unusual sensations such as pins and needles in the feet, burning, hot or cold, tingling sensations and numbness in the feet.

Autonomic neuropathy – Decreased sweating resulting in very dry skin, which can lead to breaks (fissures) to the skin is another symptom of diabetes.

Podiatrists at Hayes and Associates are highly trained in the area of diabetes and the care of diabetics’ feet. We take part in ‘Continual Professional Development’ (CPD) programmes to stay up to date with new treatments and advancements in foot care for diabetics.

If you are diabetic and worried about your ‘feet health’ give Hayes and Associates a buzz to arrange a ‘feet health check’. They will give you the best advice on how to make sure your feet remain pain free and healthy.

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Break free from heel pain

Break free from heel pain

Break free from heel pain

Hayes and Associates will help you break free from heel pain.

Heel pain is a common phenomenon, and there are several conditions out there that contribute to the cause of heel pain. It is therefore important to have the condition assessed by one of our fully trained Podiatrists who can determine the cause and the treatment to help you break free from heel pain.

Moderate and severe heel pain

The condition can vary in severity from moderate to severe, depending on the condition that’s presenting and how long it has been present for.

Most frequent type of heel pain

An example of the most frequent heel pain that we come across is a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. It often hits us when we wake up in the morning and put our foot to the floor, or if we are inactive for a period and get up to move again. It is when the thick band of tissue that lies from our heel bone to our forefoot becomes inflamed, that we experience this discomfort in the heel.

If this condition is left untreated for a long period of time, it can result in the formation of a heel spur, which is when an extra bony growth arises from the heel bone.


Methods of treating heel pain

Taping and strapping


Stretching and Strengthening exercises

Footwear advice/care


Recovering from heel pain

Early assessment and detection of the cause of your heel pain is essential to a fast and speedy recovery. One of our Podiatrists at Hayes and Associates will diagnose and offer the optimal treatment plan for you.

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Is a verruca harmful to my health

A verruca is simply a wart that is usually found on the soles of your feet. A verruca can also appear around the toe area. In its early stages a verruca will look like a small, dark, puncture mark but later turns grey or brown in colour. It may also become rough and bumpy with a cauliflower-like appearance and may develop a black spot in the middle which is caused by bleeding. A verruca can grow to half an inch in diameter and may spread into a cluster of small warts on your foot.


Is a verruca harmful to my health?

Verrucae are not harmful to health, however, they can cause a sharp, burning pain if you get one on a weight-bearing area of the foot such as the ball or the heel. Because we are constantly pressing on these areas of the foot when walking, they can protrude into the skin and become more painful. When you have a verruca on the top of the foot or on the toes they protrude above skin level and they tend to be fleshier and cause less pain.

Verruca on Foot

Verruca on foot

Is a verruca contagious?

Verrucae are caused by the human Papiloma virus (HPV). This virus is very contagious but can only be caught by direct contact. It thrives in warm, moist environments such as swimming pools, changing room floors and bathrooms. So if an infected bare foot walks across the poolside it may release virus-infected cells onto the floor area of the swimming pool. If you then walk on this floor you can pick the virus up, especially if you have any small or invisible cuts and abrasions. This makes it even easier for the virus to penetrate. You could also catch the virus from an infected towel so it is important to implement preventative measures i.e. wearing special swim socks can prevent a verruca, not sharing towels, and, if you already have a verruca – changing your socks daily can prevent a verruca from spreading.


Are some people more susceptible to verrucae than others?

Verrucae tend to be common in children, especially teenagers. However, for unknown reasons, some people seem to be more susceptible to catching the verruca virus than others.


What’s the difference between a corn and a verruca?

A verruca is a viral infection, whereas a corn or a callus is simply layers of dead skin. Verrucae tend to be painful to pinch, but if you’re unsure consult your healthcare professionals – Hayes and Associates.


How do I avoid getting a verruca?

Minimise your chances of catching a verruca by keeping your feet clean and dry and covering up any cuts or scratches on your feet. Avoid walking barefoot in swimming pools, communal showers or changing rooms, wear flip-flops and avoid sharing towels. While you should wear verruca socks when swimming to avoid passing on the virus, they can also be worn as a preventive measure.


What do I do if I have a verruca?

If a verruca does appear, avoid touching or scratching it as it may spread into a cluster of several warts. Instead, cover it up with a plaster. In some cases this may cure it. If not contact your local podiatrist / chiropodist – Hayes and Associates.

Do not self-treat a verruca if you have diabetes or circulation problems

How can Hayes and Associates treat my verruca?

Verrucae can often disappear in time, fought off by your immune system. The general policy is to only treat them when they are causing pain. In children verrucae usually resolve themselves within 6 months but in adults they can persist for years. This is why it is important to seek professional advice and treatment from Hayes and Associates.

If your verruca is causing pain, there are a number of treatment options available – though no one particular treatment can guarantee a cure. For the safest and most effective treatment plan consult Hayes and Associates.


Can I stop my verruca from spreading?

To reduce the likelihood of your verruca spreading, we would advise you to book an appointment to see one of our highly trained professionals in one of our 6 clinics. The location on your foot, the verruca type and size will determine the treatment that best suits.


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Why do we get corns

When we walk or stand, our body weight is carried first on the heel of the foot and then on the ball of the foot, where the skin is thicker to withstand the pressure. When this pressure on our feet becomes intense, growths in the form of corns and calluses may appear.


What are Corns?

Corns are similar to calluses in that they are a build-up of skin cells, but concentrated in areas of excessive direct pressure. The central core distinguishes a corn from a callus, and corns are often accompanied by greater discomfort and pain in the foot.

Corns and circulatory issues

For those with circulatory problems or sensory deficit, it is very important to have either a corn or a callus seen to by a professional. Have your feet checked regularly by a Registered Chiropodist like Hayes and Associates. This will reduce the likelihood of further complications of the feet arising in the future.


Why do I get corns?

When we walk or stand, our body weight is carried first on the heel of the foot and then on the ball of the foot, where the skin is thicker to withstand the pressure. When this pressure on our feet becomes intense, growths in the form of corns and calluses may appear.


Where do corns appear?

Corns always occur over a bony prominence, such as a joint.


Are there different types of corns?

Yes, there are five different types of corns. The two most common are hard corns and soft corns.


What is a hard corn?

Hard corns are the most common type of corn and appear as small, concentrated areas of hard skin on the feet, up to the size of a small pea, usually within a wider area of thickened skin or callus, and can be a symptom of feet or toes not functioning properly.


What is a soft corn?

Soft corns develop in a similar way to hard corns. They appear as a whitish and rubbery texture between toes, where the skin is moist from sweat, or from inadequate drying. A Registered Podiatrist  / Chiropodist like Hayes and Associates will be able to reduce the bulk of the corn between the toes, and apply astringents to cut down on sweat retention between the toes reducing the risk of corns reappearing.


What are seed corns?

Seed corns are tiny corns on the bottom of the foot that tend to occur either singly or in clusters. Seed corns are usually painless.


What are vascular corns?

If you cut a vascular corn it will bleed profusely and these corns can be very painful. Never cut a corn yourself.


What are fibrous corns?

These arise from corns that have been present for a long time. These corns appear to be more firmly attached to the deeper tissues than other types of corn. They may also be painful.


How do I treat corns?

Don’t cut corns yourself, especially if you are elderly or diabetic, and don’t use corn plasters or paints which can burn the healthy tissue around the corns. Home remedies, like lambswool around toes, are potentially dangerous. Commercially available ‘cures’ should be used only following professional advice from a Registered Chiropodist / Podiatrist like Hayes and Associates.

You could use a pumice stone to remove the thickened skin a little at a time, or relieve pressure with a foam wedge between the toes, but if you are unsure of what to do about your corns, or if you are worried about corns, consult a registered Podiatrist / Chiropodist like Hayes and Associates who will be able to remove your corns painlessly, apply padding or insoles to relieve pressure, or fit corrective appliances for long-term relief from corns.

Book an appointment with us today to have your feet checked by one of our highly trained professionals.  Hayes and Associates have a wealth of experience in debridement techniques, and are only to happy to share their expertise and offer the best treatment plan for your corns.

If you need further advice on corns, or indeed any foot problems, don’t be afraid to give us a call or send us an e-mail to make an appointment.


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Have I a Callus on my foot?

Registered Chiropodists Hayes and Associates are experts in the treatment of Calluses and Corns on the foot.  As well as treating the condition they can also offer professional advice on preventing Calluses and Corns from re-occurring.

What is a Callus?

Callus or hard skin on the foot is an accumulation of several layers of the epithelium (top layer of our skin). This occurs due to a variety of factors, some of which include:Callus and hard skin on the heel

  1. Unsuitable or poorly fitting footwear
  2. Deformity of the foot (hammer toe, bunions etc)
  3. High activity levels can cause Calluses or hard skin on the foot.
  4. Standing for long periods of time can be one of the factors that can cause a Callus or hard skin on your foot.

What are the signs of a Callus?

As the stresses of friction and pressure on the skin occur, the body’s way of protecting the area is in the formation of hard skin or Callus and / or Corns on your feet. The visible signs of a Callus is hard skin on the heel, hard skin on the toe or hard skin on the foot. This then causes extra pressure and less room in your footwear, thus resulting in a cycle of Calluses and Corns.


What causes a Callus?

When we walk or stand our body weight is carried, first on the heel of our foot and then on the ball of our foot where the skin is naturally thicker to withstand the pressure. When there is excessive pressure on your feet some areas of the skin thicken in the form of a Corn or Callus. This is a protective response by the body to limit injury to your foot and can appear anywhere the skin rubs against a bone, a shoe, or the ground. This friction can be what causes a Callus or Corn.


Inappropriate footwear can be a factor in the formation of a Callus or Corn

Most Calluses are symptoms of an underlying problem like a bone deformity, a particular style of walking, high activity or inappropriate footwear. Some people have a natural tendency to form Calluses because of their skin type. Elderly people have less fatty tissue on their feet and this can lead to a Callus forming on the ball of the foot.


How to treat a Callus?

You can control a small amount of hard skin by gently rubbing with a pumice stone, or chiropody sponge occasionally when you are in the bath. Use a moisturising cream daily on your feet. If this does not appear to be working, seek advice from registered chiropodists Hayes and Associates.


Painful Callus on my foot

If the callus is painful and feels as if you are “walking on stones”, consult registered chiropodists Hayes and Associates who, as well as treating the condition, will be able to advise you as to what caused the Callus and where possible, how to prevent Calluses forming again.

Hayes and Associates can also remove hard skin, relieve foot pain, and redistribute pressure on your foot with soft padding, strapping the foot, or corrective appliances which fit easily into your shoes. The skin on your feet should then return to their normal state.


Loss of natural padding on the foot

The elderly can benefit from padding to the ball of the foot to compensate for any loss of natural padding that may occur. Emollient creams can delay Callus building up on the foot and help improve the skin’s natural elasticity. Hayes and Associates are the best people to advise you on the most appropriate skin preparations for your feet. It is always better to consult the experts and when it comes to foot care Hayes and Associates are number one in the North East.

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