Member and FHT Excellence Award winner, Angela Green, and her colleague, Dr Anne Johnson, were recently invited to give a presentation about the complementary therapy service at Velindre Cancer Centre at an All-Party Parliamentary Group (PGIH) meeting.
Held on 18 October at the House of Commons and chaired by David Tredinnick MP, the meeting was attended by representatives from professional therapy organisations and other advocates of complementary and integrated healthcare, including a number of MPs.
Dr Johnson, Macmillan Consultant Clinical Psychologist, opened the presentation by providing an overview of Velindre Cancer Centre, the prevalence and impact of cancer, and the importance of an integrated model of care to support patients every step of their cancer journey.
Angela Green, Clinical Lead Complementary Therapies, then provided in-depth information about Velindre’s complementary therapy service including staffing and service delivery, therapy interventions available, the referral process, case studies, service evaluation, therapist training and the challenges of running the service.
Throughout the presentation, both ladies illustrated time and again the many physical and psychological benefits complementary therapy interventions have to offer patients, carers and staff in the field of cancer care. Similarly, the presentation highlighted that by reducing anxiety in patients, the complementary therapy team help to ensure challenging medical treatments are successfully completed, creating cost and time efficiencies within the NHS.
Both Angela and Dr Johnson were praised for their insightful presentation, which sparked debate in the room about how to harness further support and recognition for services like Velindre’s and roll out this successful healthcare model into other NHS hospitals and settings.
The FHT would like to thank Angela Green and Dr Johnson for delivering this presentation at the PGIH meeting, helping to stimulate well-informed debate on integrated healthcare and contributing to the development of knowledge and policies on the subject.
About Velindre Cancer Centre and its complementary therapy service
- Velindre Cancer Centre serves a population of 1.5 million in South East Wales and beyond. It is one of the 10 largest cancer centres in the UK and the largest in Wales.
- Support care services include complementary therapy; clinical psychology and counselling; physiotherapy; occupational therapy; dietetics; speech and language therapy; supportive care nurse; review radiotherapy; chaplaincy; and welfare and benefit advisers.
- Complementary therapies interventions provided by the team include reflexology, aromatherapy and massage, reiki and relaxation techniques. These can be delivered to patients, carers and families, and staff.
- The above complementary therapy interventions are used to support patients and in particular, help to alleviate symptoms and side effects including anxiety and panic; pain; fatigue; insomnia; restlessness; constipation; stress and tension; low mood; breathlessness; and end of life support.
- On 11 October, David Tredinnick MP gave Velindre’s complementary therapy service as an example of best practice in a question in Parliament, highlighting that if this model was more widely spread over the health service in England, cost savings and patient satisfaction would increase.
- Angela Green, MFHT, Clinical Lead Complementary Therapies, won a 2013 FHT Excellence Award for developing an education programme for therapists working in cancer care.
- The Complementary Therapy Team at Velindre Cancer Care won a 2016 FHT Excellence Award (Special Recognition) as Employee of the Year.