FHT Virtual Congress – An introduction to palliative care and complementary therapy with Alison Bailey

In the lead up to the FHT’s first Virtual Training Congress we have been introducing FHT members to our event speakers. Today hear from Alison Bailey from Weston Hospicecare in Weston-super-Mare about her seminar on palliative care and complementary therapy.

Tell us a bit of background about yourself…

I became a volunteer complementary therapist for Weston Hospicecare nine years ago. As soon as I walked into the building I knew the role was going to be rewarding and sensed a feeling of true belonging with a great sense of multi-disciplinary team. In 2013 I was employed by the hospice to run the complementary service, which included a new wellbeing centre – I felt overjoyed. The complementary therapy service works alongside the medical and allied health professionals. Before lockdown restrictions, I had 18 volunteers helping but the majority are inactive at present. I decided to write and deliver a short accredited course for therapists with an interest in this palliative care to develop their skills.  

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

2020 was very challenging, the complementary therapy service had to be flexible. During the first lockdown I was furloughed, which obviously hindered the service but helped the hospice as it is a charity and funding was decreased. During the other lockdowns, the service continued in a safe manner using government guidelines. Therefore, safety procedures were put in place to offer hands on service at the wellbeing two days per week. The other days I work from home providing relaxation and hypnotherapy sessions via phone or virtual platforms. People appear to have heightened anxieties, fears and concerns during this pandemic so providing relaxation session have really hepled.

What interests you outside of work?

I like to exercise when I can, long walks in the fresh air have really helped during this lockdown period. Taking notice of nature and the small things that I once may have took for granted such as the birds singing. I enjoy taking my son’s puppy for long walks especially on the beach near where I live. 

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

Working in a hospice setting as a complementary therapist is inspiring. It appealed to me because it helped me to put life into perspective. Most therapists decide to go into this career because they are caring and want to help others, this role truly provides this.

Buy your ticket to the FHT Virtual Congress here.

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

The 2021 FHT Virtual Congress is sponsored by Power Diary and Gateway Workshops.

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