FHT Virtual Congress – Massage and microbes with Peter Mackereth, Ann Carter and Anne Ferguson

In the lead up to the FHT’s first Virtual Training Congress we will be introducing FHT members to our event speakers. This week we speak to Peter Mackereth, Ann Carter and Anne Ferguson, educational advisors and lecturers at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester.

Peter Mackereth and Ann Carter

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

Peter M – I have been working in the NHS since I was 17. I worked as a nurse in intensive care for many years, then teaching and research in the University setting before going back into oncology as clinical lead for one of the largest complementary therapy teams in Europe. Recently I have been working in a hospice providing a range of therapies while continuing to teach, write articles and books and research.  

Anne Ferguson

Ann C –  My background is in education, I have been working in supportive and palliative care as a therapist, coordinator and teacher for over 25 years. Additionally, I created The HEARTS Process, which has led me to train other therapists and write the first textbook on HEARTS.

Anne F – Peter and I met at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London back in the 80s when I was working in A&E. My clinical and teaching experience is in wound healing and infection control, I have also trained in hypnotherapy and have taught at The Christie.  

How did you find 2020? What business challenges were presented to you and what did you do to adapt to these changes?

Peter M – I returned to nursing at the start of the first wave helping with COVID-19 screening, helping with admissions and transfers. Throughout the pandemic, I have been delivering guided imagery and relaxation zoom training, plus writing up research projects and online conference work. This week I am continuing to support the battle against COVID-19 by starting in a local vaccination team.

Ann C – Normally I would be travelling around the UK teaching HEARTS, I was planning to go to Japan to teach too – but that’s on hold. Since lockdown, Peter and I have been running Guided Imagery courses for therapists on Zoom. 

Anne F – I have been running courses face-to-face with health care staff around the country, but now have been taking my work online with the challenges of Zoom! Both of my daughters became pregnant during lockdown, one has just delivered and the other is due in June, I’m really looking forward to coming out of lockdown and holding both the babies.

What interests you outside of work? (How do you normally spend your spare time?)

Peter M – I have been a part-time potter for many years, creating and selling my work under my #ClayPrideUK banner. When we are not in lockdown, I can be found in a group potters studio. Since the third wave, I have been a student attending Zoom evening classes on art and pharaohs.

Ann C – I am a keen photographer, I play the piano and anything to do with plants and wildlife in the garden. I am also the proud owner  of a black Labrador called Barney and enjoy walking him!

What is your Virtual Congress seminar about and what can viewers expect to come away with?

We wrote about infection control and massage in International Therapist, Winter 2021 so are looking to bring this feature alive in our Virtual Congress seminar. We have created a video with questions and discussion by the three of us. We have included content about the ‘Chain of Infection’, infection control measures, who is at risk?… and have included three case studies to raise issues and best practice recommendations for therapists.    

We are keen to support practice being as safe as possible. Through our seminar, therapists can learn useful tips to protect others and themselves by interrupting the chain of infection.  

What would be your one piece of advice for therapists wanting to grow and develop their therapy practice?

Don’t stop learning! Even better, start teaching and researching your practice – it’s a great way of being forever curious about your therapy, and sharing your skills and knowledge with others. Go forth and create your therapy legacy!

Read Microbes and Massage, first published in International Therapist (Winter 2021, Issue 135)

Buy your ticket to the FHT Virtual Congress here.

*Ticket prices: FHT student members £25, FHT members £30, non-FHT members £45

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