Lothian Hospital Histories

Edinburgh Foot Clinic and School of Chiropody

The Edinburgh Foot Clinic was opened in 1924 by Miss Catherine Norrie and her sister Mrs Margaret Swanson, to treat "minor foot ailments of the working class". Situated at 1a Hill Place, it was open for two or three half days each week and was staffed by volunteers. Patients paid a minimum charge of 1/- and, if possible, an extra donation. In 1928 the Clinic moved to a new site at 81 Newington Road, due to increased demand for its services and the consequent need for larger premises.

By 1948 the Clinic was open all week days and on Wednesday evenings. It still catered mainly for working class patients. Most applied for treatment directly to the Clinic, although some were referred by their GPs.

Soon after the establishment of the Clinic, the Edinburgh School of Chiropody was opened and both Miss Norrie and Mrs. Swanson played a large part in developing its curriculum and in inviting members of the Edinburgh medical profession to teach on the course. In addition to local involvement in Edinburgh chiropody, Miss Norrie was active on a national level. In 1912 she helped to fund the National Society of Chiropodists; in the 1920s and 1930s she was a Council member of the Incorporated Society of Chiropodists, later its Vice-President; and at one time she was the editor of The Chiropodist, the Society's journal.

The recognition of chiropody by the British Medical Association and the approval by the Royal Colleges of medical examiners for the Society of Chiropodists' professional examinations were due to Miss Norrie's work throughout the 1930s. During World War II she set up, with the aid of the British Red Cross Society, five mobile chiropody units which treated the Forces stationed in Scotland. These mobile chiropody units were based in the Edinburgh and Glasgow Schools of Chiropody.

In 1948, when the National Health Service took over the running of the Clinic, it came under Edinburgh Central Hospitals group of South Eastern Regional Hospital Board, transferring in 1970 to Edinburgh Royal Victoria and Associated Hospitals. In 1974 it became part of South Lothian District of Lothian Health Board, and it closed in 1995.

Edinburgh Foot Clinic and School of Chiropody records