What is a Learning Disability?

A learning disability is a significant, lifelong condition defined as a:

  • reduced ability to understand new or complex information or to learn new skills;
  • reduced ability to cope independently
  • a condition which started before adulthood (before the age of 18) with a lasting effect on the individuals development

The majority of people with a learning disability can access their local community podiatrist. Should you have additional more complex needs (medical or podiatric) these can be meet by the Specialist Learning Disability Podiatry Service. The specialist service aims to provide high quality patient centred podiatry care to enable people with a learning disability to reach their goals and participate in the activities of everyday life.


Who We Are

The team is made up of two members of staff:

Karen Mellon and Ben Morrison



We provide Fife wide cover and you may meet any member of the team during your podiatry treatment. We make up part of the LD multidisciplinary team which also includes:

  • Dietetics
  • Nursing
  • Transition Nurse
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Clinical Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Speech and Language Therapy

To find out more information on Learning Disabilties please click here for NHS Fife Learning Disability web pages.


What We Do

Working with you and/or your family/carer we aim to determine the impact your foot conditions are having on your everyday life and work with you to achieve realistic goals.

Common conditions we can help with:

  • Ingrown toenails
  • Corns/callous
  • Foot ulcerations/infections                                              
  • Foot and leg pain
  • Issues with mobility/falls
  • Footwear advice



Service Provision

We aim to see everyone in a clinical environment, but where this is not possible assessments can take place at daycentres or at home.

As a service we do not provide a simple nail cutting service. This is a personal care need and not a medical need. Nail care should be carried out by yourself if you can manage or your family or care provider.

The Scottish Government has issued help and guidance on how you can care for your own feet or how someone else can care for your feet. Please click here for more information:


How to Refer to the Service

In order for the Adult Learning Disabilities Service to consider your referral, the client must meet the following criteria:

  • To have left school
  • Have a diagnosed Learning Disability 

Referrals can be made by yourself or anyone involved in your care. Referrals can be made online or by paper. These are then sent to the learning disability team for discussion and you will be contacted with the outcome.

Members of the public can self-refer to the Podiatry Service. 

To complete an electronic self referral please click here.  The completed referral will then be submitted directly to the service. The forms are completely secure and confidential. The service will respond within 14 days. Contact 01592 647199 (Mon-Fri 08.00-16.30) with your reference number if no contact has been made by the service within this time.

Paper referrals can also be picked up from your local clinic, health centre and GP Practice or printed out using the link below.  A new patient appointment letter will be sent by post to you once your referral has been triaged and accepted for treatment. In the event that your referral is not accepted or further information is required to process your referral you will be contacted either by telephone or letter.



As a service we provide training sessions for patients, carers, families or friends to help maintain foot health. This is carried out using and interactive Healthy Footsteps tool, aimed at encouraging discussions around footcare. As par t of this training we incorporate CPR for Feet and Offloading to promote intact skin and reduce the risk of foot ulceration. Foot ulceration can have a major impact on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing.

For more information on CPR for Feet and Offloading can be found in the publications section below.

To book a training session for yourself, family, friends or care provider please use the contact details Contact section below.



Patient Centred Service

We appreciate each person who uses our service is individual and has individual needs and requirements.  We tailor make our treatment and advice for the individual and provide information in a format that you can use.

Please see examples of Accessible Information in the publications section below:

These are just some examples of Accessible Information, should you need specific information  we can create this to suit your needs.

You can also click here to access further Accessible Information on general topics:


Down Syndrome Screening Clinic

If you have a diagnosis of Down syndrome you may like to attend one of our Down syndrome screening clinics. These clinics are designed to pick up any health issues you may have so measures can be put in place to reduce the long term impact.

At these clinics you will see a range of health care professions. This may include:

  • Podiatrist
  • Physiotherapist
  • Nurse
  • Dietician
  • Speech and Language Therapist
  • Psychologist

You may also be invited to complete an OT questionnaire to determine if you require an assessment from an OT.

For further information please see the Health Screening Clinic for Adults with Down’s Syndrome leaflet in the publications section below.








Useful Websites

Adult Protection in Fife                 

Alzheimer Scotland                        

Diabetes UK                                    

Down’s Syndrome Scotland          

Easy Read                                        

Foundation for people with learning disabilities

RNIB Supporting people with sight loss

Scottish Commission for Learning Disability

The keys to life                               

The National Autistic Society Scotland




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