How can I get an appointment with Mr Ritchie and his team?
Please phone our secretaries on 01892 740990 for appointments to see Mr Ritchie, or one of our team of podiatrists or physiotherapists. Our office is open Monday to Friday 09.00 - 17.00. If you need an urgent appointment after hours please contact The Spire Hospital, Tunbridge Wells on 01892 740047 who may be able to assist you.
Do I have to be seen at The Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital?
Mr Ritchie’s main base is at The Foot and Ankle Centre within The Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital. However he does also hold clinics at The Nuffield Hospital Tunbridge Wells, KIMS and in Sevenoaks, East Grinstead and Oxted. Please discuss your preferred location with our secretaries and we will do our best to accommodate this.
Are weekend / evening appointments available?
Yes. Mr Ritchie has evening clinics on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. He also runs a regular clinic on Saturday mornings.
Do I need a GP referral?
We are happy to see patients directly with or without a GP referral. However please note that most insurance companies insist on a GP referral to authorise payment for any outpatient consultations or investigations. We would strongly recommend that you discuss this with your insurance company prior to making an appointment.
Mr Ritchie, Mr Studart, Mr Winkworth and our physiotherapists are recognised by most health insurance companies. Again we would recommend checking this with your particular insurer.
What is the difference between a podiatrist and an orthopaedic surgeon and who should I see?
Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeons are fully qualified medical doctors who have undertaken extensive postgraduate training, usually over ten or eleven years, to specialise in problems of the foot and ankle. Not only do they have considerable surgical expertise but their medical background allows them to consider foot problems not just in isolation but in the context of the whole body and its conditions.
Podiatrists are not medical doctors but usually train for a degree in the care of foot problems. They specialise in knowledge of the foot and ankle from the start of their training, which usually takes 3-4 years. The podiatrists at The Foot and Ankle Centre Tunbridge Wells do not undertake surgery, but are the best people to see for problems of skin and nails of the feet and for production of insoles to improve foot function and comfort. They have a particular interest in biomechanical and gait analysis.
If you are unsure who to see please phone or e mail our secretaries who can discuss this with our team in order to make the most appropriate appointment for you.
If I see Mr Ritchie am I more likely to be offered a surgical treatment?
No. The foot and ankle is one of the most complex areas of the human skeletal system and no two people are alike. Therefore the management of foot and ankle problems is tailored to the individual and their particular lifestyle. Non surgical options are always explored first and he will discuss all the various treatment options available. Mr Ritchie does undertake minimally invasive surgery where appropriate.
If I do require surgery where will this occur?
The majority of operations take place at The Spire Tunbridge Wells Hospital . However Mr Ritchie also has operating lists at The Nuffield Hospital Tunbridge Wells, KIMS and The Wells Private Suite, Tunbridge Wells Hospital. These hospitals have a very high standard of patient care with single rooms and en suite facilities.
If I need surgery do I have to have a general anaesthetic?
A general anaesthetic is one option for all foot and ankle operations. However many small and medium operations in the foot and ankle can be carried out under a popliteal regional nerve block with or without sedation. In this case a full general anaesthetic is not necessary. There are various options available which can be fully discussed prior to surgery if required