The NHS releases key stats for 2018/19


The NHS has released its headline facts and figures for the past year. Figures showed that The Department for Health and Social Care spent £130.3 billion in 2018/19, compared to £130 billion in 2017/18.

The average cost of someone attending an urgent care centre and receiving the lowest level of support is around £45. For someone attending a major A&E department who receives more complex investigation and treatment, the average cost is around £400. In 2017/18, the average 9-minute GP consultation was estimated to cost £37.40.

Several studies have shown that social prescribing (looking at a patient’s symptoms holistically and prescribing social intervention) can help to alleviate the pressure on NHS services. Results from a social prescribing scheme launched in Rotherham showed a 20% reduction in the use of accident and emergency attendance over 12 months, as well as a similar reduction in outpatient appointments and inpatient admissions over the same period (Dayson, 2017).

Read the full expenditure report at

What are your thoughts on social prescribing? Let us know by emailing us at


Dayson (2017). Evaluation of the Rotherham Social Prescribing Pilot. Sheffield Hallam University


Mindfulness in the December issue of Natural Health magazine


Implementing simple mindfulness techniques throughout your day can have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing.

In the December issue of Natural Health magazine, Clarissa Kristjansson introduces readers to some easy mindfulness techniques to practice throughout the day, looking at a typical day of a working person, as well as the key benefits of practicing mindfulness.

We’d like to say a big thank you to Clarissa Kristjansson, for contributing this article on behalf of FHT. Clarissa previously contributed a piece about mindfulness and the menopause for the Summer issue of International Therapist magazine, read this article here.

Clarissa will be speaking at the 2020 FHT Training Congress on the 3 – 4 May at the Holistic Health Show, NEC, Birmingham. Look out for updates about the Training Congress in International Therapist and the FHT’s newsletters in January.

Read the full article, featured in Natural Health Magazine.

Recycling at FHT Headquarters


Here at FHT, we care about our planet and future generations, which is why we’re continually reviewing our business practices, big and small, taking steps towards becoming a more sustainable organisation.

Feedback from our latest members survey suggests that sustainable living is at the top of our members’ priorities too, and with over 15 million tonnes of rubbish being sent to landfill every year in the UK, we can see why (Gov UK, 2019).

Since launching an FHT working group to champion sustainability just a few months ago, we have seen a wide uptake in staff involvement. FHT’s Facilities and Wellbeing Executive, Laura Thomson, has launched a range of office recycling initiatives, including:

  • Tassimo coffee pods
  • Bottle tops
  • Confectionery wrappers
  • Batteries
  • Stamps
  • Greetings cards
  • Printing ink

Laura said, “Most of the recycling schemes we’ve implemented at FHT HQ started from speaking to people in the local community to find out what they do. They gave us a lot of ideas that I wouldn’t have even thought of!

“I found the company Terracycle through a post on my son’s school Facebook page. Terracycle are able to recycle hundreds of different things, so I picked just a few items that I thought would make the biggest difference to our office recycling.

“We were already recycling milk bottle tops, but I thought it would be nice for us to recycle all bottle tops. Unfortunately, most companies only offer milk bottle top recycling, but after a bit of searching, I found that Lush offer recycling for all bottle tops. Now we can recycle all of our bottle tops and staff bring them in from home too.

“If FHT members are interested in recycling more, they can go to the website and see if there’s a drop-off point in their area. It’s also worth seeing if there’s anyone in your local community who has an idea you haven’t thought of. For instance, I happened to speak to someone from a local nursery who said they use the front of greetings cards for their children to make something fun with, so now we donate our cards to them.”

For more information on recycling opportunities in your area, visit


Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (2019). UK Statistics on Waste. [Available online:] (Accessed November 2019).

The 2019 FHT Conference ‘an inspiring and rewarding day’


The 2019 FHT Conference brought together leading experts in research, education and healthcare, to explore the future of integrated health and social care. The event was held on Friday 29 November at The Kings Fund, London and attracted delegates and speakers from across the country.

Conference host Janey Lee Grace, a regular presenter on Radio 2 and UK Health Radio, introduced the first of the speakers, Dr John Hughes. John spoke about patient reported outcome measures (PROMS) in integrated health care and explained the value in completing an evaluation whereby a client assesses any improvements to their own health and wellbeing.

As therapists, a primary focus of our work is around our client’s bodies and mental wellbeing. Dr Fiona Holland spoke about the importance of enhancing body image and body self esteem in clients. Fiona gave some eye-opening statistics about the way that both sexes often feel about their bodies. Fiona said, ‘50% of women are currently trying to lose weight even though the majority are already at or below what is classified as a normal weight. The YMCA’s ‘Be Real’ campaign in 2015 found that men are less likely to have body dissatisfaction but the number of men taking steroids has doubled over the past ten years and one in five men take protein supplements to bulk up.’ Fiona’s talk encouraged discussion on strategies therapists can implement in their own practices to enhance body positivity in their clients.

Delegates also enjoyed a presentation from Gwyn Featonby and Sarah Grant from the first NHS approved therapy school, based in Harrogate. Gwyn and Sarah explained how they have achieved integration of complementary therapies into an NHS organisation. They described the benefits of having approved training within an NHS trust for complementary therapy, both for students, staff and patients.

Dr Laura Marshall-Andrews spoke about what she thinks good integrated healthcare ‘looks like’, including an overview of the services available at Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre. Laura shared some tips on how therapists can forge links with relevant health professionals and organisations in their local community.

Suzanne Ruggles, MSc DiPHE, MFHT, spoke about her personal experience of being diagnosed with lupus and how she managed her stress and symptoms with the use of complementary therapies. Suzanne has now set up an award-winning programme, the Full Circle Fund which provides evidence-based support in two hospitals to those facing a life-threatening or life-limiting illness. Suzanne captivated delegates with her case studies on patients and summarised by outlining just a few of the programme’s successes.

The day’s programme was then rounded off by Janey announcing the winners of the 2019 FHT Excellence Awards, which serve to recognise those raising the bar in therapy training and practice. See our talented award winners here.

One delegate described the conference as ‘A fabulous, inspiring and most rewarding day’ and said ‘it even surpassed last year’s Conference, which I did not think possible. I met some lovely therapists too.’ 

Winners of the 2019 FHT Excellence Awards

FHT2019-316 (1)As part of our annual FHT Conferencewe hold the FHT Excellence Awards to celebrate those raising the bar in therapy training and practice.

This year we had six categories covering the broad range of therapies supported by the FHT: Complementary Therapist of the Year, Beauty Therapist of the Year, Sports Therapist of the Year, Local Group Coordinator of the Year, Student of the Year and Tutor of the Year.

Once again, the judges were impressed by the quality and number of award entries this year. We would like to say a huge congratulations to all those who were finalists in their category, and of course, our six 2019 winners.

Complementary Therapist of the Year

Winner: Jackie Hamilton


Finalists: Rebecca Ayres, Julie Crossman, Emi Howe, Lorraine Millard and Louise Summerscales

Beauty Therapist of the Year

Winner: Joanna Taplin


Finalists: Alison Day and Fiona Murphy

Sports Therapist of the Year

Winner: Rebecca Ayres


Finalists: Alexandra Fraser, Emily Pollington

Local Group Coordinator of the Year

Winner: Hazel Tudor


Finalists: Dee Kelsall, Carina Stinchcombe

Student of the Year

Winner: Elle Bussey


Finalists: Samantha Killian, Philip Norton

Tutor of the Year

Winner: Carol Samuel


Finalists: Katherine Creighton Crook, Marie Duggan

Read more about each of our winners in the Winter issue of International Therapist magazine, due to be published on Thursday 23 January 2020.


Action for Happiness encourages us to reflect on human connection this December

AFH kindness calendar

Every month, Action for Happiness produces a calendar packed with actions we can all take to help create a happier and kinder world.

This December, the charity’s calendar focuses on daily activities to reflect on ‘human connection and simple joys’, rather than consumerism.

When writing down a list of your extra acts of kindness for 2020, consider some of our  suggestions below:

  • If you see someone looking lonely or sad, ask them if they’re ok.
  • Help a friend achieve their New Year’s resolution.
  • Start planning how you will meet your 2020 goals.
  • Look in the January sales for a small gift to give someone else.
  • Do something silly and try to let loose. Consider dancing to a cheesy song or surprising someone when they’re least expecting it.

The calendar is free to download as a PDF or image file (JPEG) in 16 different languages. You can also download the actions straight to your calendar using a Google Calendar or iCalendar file.

Download the December 2019 Action for Happiness calendar 

Over 4% of left-handed women found to be missing their olfactory bulbs 


Left-handed women are more likely to be missing their olfactory bulbs, a part of the brain considered vital for smell.

A review of the public brain-MRI database with 1,113 participants (606 women) found 0.6% of women and 4.25% of left-handed women were still able to smell normally, despite not having anatomically defined olfactory bulbs.

The quirk has never been found in men and health professionals are left ‘puzzled’ why this is the case.

Experts say the discovery of humans being able to smell despite missing these bulbs implies extreme plasticity in the functional neuroanatomy of the sensory system.

Read the full study here.

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We regularly feature research in International Therapist magazine, a quarterly magazine sent to FHT members. To find out more about the many benefits of being an FHT member, visit