FHT Virtual Congress – Gwyn Featonby on adapting to the needs of NHS patients during the pandemic

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 Gwyn Featonby from the NHS Natural Health School in Harrogate.

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I started my career as a nurse in the early 80’s. During that time I was introduced to the concept of holistic care by a tutor who inspired me to look deeper than the nursing process which at that time was fairly reductionistic in approach. I quickly became hooked by wanted to understand more about what constitutes both good and bad health and why science doesn’t always hold the answers. I have been so lucky to work with some inspiring clinical staff within the NHS and allied health environments and have had phenomenal support in providing both education and patient services for our NHS and communities.

What interests you outside of work?

I do lots of walking and like nothing more than setting off on a long distance trail over a few days or even weeks. I also read lots and am an avid knitter! Plus anytime with my grandchildren is really special.

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

Our seminar will offer a number of different perspectives as to how we rose to the challenges of COVID-19. Looking at the implications from a senior management point of view, as well as how this affected operational staff working with both patients and students, will emphasise the team work and strategic thinking behind  service continuity within the  NHS  during crisis. Participants in the seminar will get a clear picture of how good  patient care is about much more than just the time spent with the therapist.

What is it about your topic that appeals to you and why is it useful for therapists?

There is a huge shift toward integrated care – now, more than ever, Complementary Therapies are being shown to be of real value within conventional health settings. This is a great opportunity for our industry to step up and make a real difference to the health and wellbeing experiences of our increasingly complex society. We also must not underestimate the vital role that we can play in supporting health and social care staff.

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

As a team, we understand we are incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to provide our services as NHS employees. Many practitioners contact us to ask how they can find employment within the NHS and one of the things we are keen to impress, is that a real understanding of clinical governance and the central policies that apply to all NHS workers, is vital to success if  complementary therapists want to move into sector one care environments. It is also a great idea to get some training in advanced pathologies in relation to the patient groups you want to work with. You can be the best complementary therapist but if you don’t understand the patients condition you can’t be sure you are acting in their best interests.

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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