School for thought

FHT’s Editor and Communications Manager, Karen Young, visits the NHS Natural Health School team in North Yorkshire

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From left to right: Karen Young, Gwyn Featonby, Beverley Harrison, Sarah Grant, and NHS Natural Health School student, Lorraine Cole

One cold morning in January, I travelled from Southampton to Harrogate to meet with Gwyn Featonby, Sarah Grant and Beverley Harrison – three members of the award-winning team that head up the NHS Natural Health School, based at Harrogate District Hospital, Harrogate and District Foundation Trust (HDFT).

I only had time to spend a few hours with this lovely trio but it was well worth the 500-mile round trip (actually, make that 507, because I overshot Harrogate station, checking emails on my phone!).

The school, which was officially launched in May 2018, is the first NHS-approved and owned complementary therapy school, run by NHS employees. It was developed to create a self-sustaining model of care for patients, delivered by therapists trained to the highest standards of care expected of any health professional working within the NHS. But as the team will be more than happy to tell you, this didn’t just happen ‘overnight’ – it took four years and a lot of hard work to get to where they are today.

When Sarah took on the role of Patient Information and Health and Wellbeing Manager at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, HDFT, in 2014, part of her responsibility was to develop and improve the existing complementary therapy service. At the time, it comprised of six self-employed therapists, who took turns to provide four hours of treatment a week to self-referring patients. While the therapists offered a very good level of service, there was no consistency for those accessing treatment, and no measures in place to show the true value of the service to patients and staff. As such, it was seen as more of a ‘nice to have’, informal spa, than a service that offered real therapeutic potential.

Sarah quickly set to work to future-proof and improve the complementary therapy service. As well as securing dedicated space for delivering therapies and training within the newly built Centre, Julie Crossman, MFHT – one of the original therapy team members – was tasked with overseeing an audit of the complementary therapy service using MYCAW*, so that they could start to build an evidence base of the treatments provided. A little later Sarah brought Gwyn on board, to develop a therapy training programme that would meet both CQC (Care Quality Commission) and industry standards and equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to work confidently and safely with patients with complex health needs.

When I walked into the Centre less than a fortnight ago, I have to say, it felt very calm and welcoming, and as if the NHS Natural Health School has been running smoothly for many years as opposed to months. Today, the model created by Sarah, Gwyn and the team means that for each cohort of students they have on a training pathway at a time, 72 patients are removed from the complementary therapy service waiting list.

Self-referring is also a thing of the past, with all patients now being referred by a health professional working at the Centre. Many of these health professionals have experienced the treatments first-hand, after accessing these when a patient has cancelled or been unable to attend an appointment. Others have simply seen how different therapies have helped to resolve issues such as pain management or sleep difficulties in patients, which previously might have required referral to a specialist, costing the NHS even more precious time and money.

Sarah also highlighted that an unexpected benefit of providing health professionals access to the complementary therapy service is that they feel valued and cared for, and as word travels fast in the medical community, this has vastly helped to improve recruitment at the hospital. Staff who feel valued are also more likely to volunteer to do overtime, because they’re happy to ‘give a little something back’.

So, what’s next? Once the team are completely happy with the model, they hope to introduce it to other departments within the hospital and then, ultimately, license it out to other Trusts, so that these too can benefit from a self-sustaining complementary therapy service, which has quality and patient-centred care at the core. It certainly seems to be a win-win situation for all involved – namely a struggling NHS system, over-burdened health professionals in danger of burn out, therapists in need of hands-on experience working with complex patients and, most importantly, patients in need of support.

Keen to learn more about the NHS Natural Health School and team?

Read an article by Gwyn about the NHS Natural Health School

Learn more about Gwyn winning 2018 FHT Tutor of the Year

Read about Gwyn and Julie winning a Complementary Therapy Award 2018

*MYCAW (Measure Yourself Concerns and Wellbeing) is a patient-reported outcome measure often use by complementary therapists working in cancer care.

Join us for the FHT’s training event of the year!

Our most popular training event of the year returns this May, with an exciting new programme of talks to help you gain new skills and develop in your career as a therapist.

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The 2019 FHT Training Congress will take place on 19-20 May at the Holistic Health Show, Birmingham, and will feature a range of talks by industry experts on a variety of topics – from therapy-specific modalities to general business advice.

This year we will be hosting more seminars for you to attend than ever before, with 30 sessions to choose from across the two-day event. Here’s a snapshot of what we have scheduled…

  • Five key tips for working with those living with dementiaCPD point roundel copy.png
  • The role of complementary therapy within the NHS
  • Posture: does it matter and can it be corrected?
  • Reflexology and the functional reflex therapy framework
  • Producing a winning brand
  • And more…

What’s more, you’ll gain one CPD point for every session you attend, so if you attend 5 sessions on both days, you’ll gain a total of 10 CPD points – the minimum number required for FHT Members per membership year.

Day passes for the event are available for just £50 for FHT members (£65 for non-members), and allow you to attend a full day of 5 seminars with a saving of £10.

Tickets to individual seminars cost £12 for FHT members and £15 for non-members.

Learn more and book your tickets

FHT award winner profile: Jane Sheehan, MFHT

FHT member Jane Sheehan has won the title of 2018 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year.

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Jane Sheehan (right) with FHT Vice President and awards judge, Mary Dalgleish (left)

The award was presented to Jane at the 2018 FHT Conference: Supporting the Integrated Healthcare Agenda, held at The King’s Fund, London, on 29 November. Organised by the FHT, the Excellence Awards aim to bring much deserved recognition to high-calibre practitioners, students and tutors working in the fields of complementary, sports and holistic beauty therapy.

Jane’s burning ambition had always been to successfully integrate complementary therapies into mainstream care. It was an ambition she went on to realise in 2009, when she took on the role of complementary therapy coordinator at an NHS Specialist Palliative Care Hospice in Norwich.

Drawing on 36 years of experience as a qualified nurse and 29 years as a complementary therapist, Jane developed the existing complementary therapy service, to create a safe delivery model that would benefit patients, therapists and health care professionals alike. Among other achievements she was responsible for:

  • bringing the therapy service in line with clinical governance
  • developing a robust complementary therapy policy
  • creating a sustainable delivery model, with therapists employed by the NHS, providing security for the therapists and ensuring patients could continue to receive valuable care
  • expanding the number and range of therapy sessions available
  • designing a bespoke model of care for patients wanting care at home
  • developing protocols for using aromatherapy for malodourous wound care
  • introducing MYCAW to measure patient-related outcomes, and
  • providing experiential learning for health care staff to promote therapy awareness.

Jane’s nomination was supported by dozens testimonials and letters of support from clients, colleagues, training providers and industry experts, including clinical aromatherapist and author, Dr Jane Buckle.

Speaking about her win, Jane says: ‘I am totally over the moon and feel very privileged to receive the prestigious 2018 FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year award for work that brings together my nursing background and complementary therapy training. I wanted to inspire others and raise awareness of what can be achieved in complementary therapy development in the NHS specialist palliative care setting. This is for every single therapist working in a hospice. Thank you to my colleague, Margaret Ayres, who put my name forward for this award, and to all those who have supported me. And thank you to the FHT.’

Christopher Byrne, President of the FHT, says: ‘These awards are designed to recognise individuals who are excelling in therapy practice and education and are an inspiration to others. Winners like Jane should be exceptionally proud to be selected from a pool of high-calibre peers, in awards that are recognised across the industry. Well done.’

Read an article by Jane from International Therapist, issue 125

College of Medicine launches its October Complementary Medicine Roundup

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The College of Medicine has recently published its October Complementary Medicine roundup.

Written by former barrister Richard Eaton and published quarterly, the roundup is packed with a wealth of information on the latest developments in complementary therapy, from evidence-base and advocacy, to changes in legislation and current challenges.

In the October edition Richard looks at healthcare policy, who is receiving CAM and why, the demand for complementary therapies, the appointment of Christopher Byrne as FHT President, along with the latest research and lots more.

To keep up to date, you can sign up to receive the roundup by email on the College of Medicine’s website

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Winners of new Complementary Therapy Awards announced

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The FHT was proud to be involved in the presentation of the inaugural Complementary Therapy Awards, which took place on 18 October at a special celebratory lunch held in London.

Organised by Chamberlain Dunn, these new, independent awards aim to celebrate practitioners, teams and advocates who are enhancing the health and wellbeing of others through a variety of initiatives that focus on an integrated approach to patient-centred care.

As platinum sponsor, FHT’s Governing Council and staff enjoyed working closely with organisers, Chamberlain Dunn, throughout the development and promotion of these new awards, from offering guidance on the different awards categories, through to supporting the shortlisting and judging process, and presenting the FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research on the day.

The winners of the Complementary Therapy Awards 2018 are:

Overall Winner

Angie Buxton-King (Director, Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust)

‘Integrating healing into hospitals and hospices’

The Award for Prevention and Self-Care

Roberta Meldurm (Director, The Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living)

‘Positive Movement – a wellbeing programme for older people’

The Award for Cancer Care

Angie Buxton-King (Director, Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust)

‘Integrating healing into hospitals and hospices’

The Award for Palliative Care

Elaine Cooper (Clinical Lead Specialist Complementary Therapies) and Rachel Clark

Lead Complementary Therapist Palliative Care), Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

‘25 years – Complementary therapies in NHS palliative care’

The FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research

Nicola Brough (Clinic Director, Torus Wellbeing Clinic) and Sarah Stewart-Brown (Professor and Chair of Public Health, University of Warwick)

‘Development and validation of the Warwick Holistic Health Questionnaire (WHHQ): assessing changes in health and wellbeing of Craniosacral Therapy/CAM users’

The Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Naji Malak (Co-founder and CEO, Stand Easy Military Support)

‘Stand Easy Military Support’

Special mention: Nicolle Mitchell, Holistic Massage Practitioner, FHT Member and FHT Accredited Training Provider – Massage for dementia

The Award for Pain Management, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation

Gina Reinge (Sports Therapist, The Reinge Clinic)
‘Adhesive arachnoiditis case study’

The Award for Furthering Integrated Healthcare

Gwyn Featonby (Education Lead and FHT Accredited Course Provider) and Julie Crossman (Complementary Therapy Lead and FHT Member), NHS Natural Health School

‘Harrogate Hospital NHS complementary therapies in cancer service’

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FHT President Christopher Byrne  presents the The FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research to Nicola Brough

 

Christopher Byrne, President of the FHT, was involved in shortlisting two of the Complementary Therapy Awards categories, including The FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research. ‘The FHT has been at the forefront of promoting high standards in therapy training and practice for more than 50 years, which is why we were extremely proud to support  these new awards,’ says Christopher. ‘In addition to our own FHT Excellence Awards, which have been celebrating success for eight years, these Complementary Therapy Awards will help to bring further recognition to the important role professional therapists have to play in not just supporting the pubic, but also the integrated healthcare agenda as a whole, which is one of FHT’s key objectives.

‘Our heart-felt congratulations to all of the winners and finalists, but we would like to give a special mention to those who are FHT Members, FHT Accredited Course Providers or former FHT Excellence Award winners – namely Kelly De Souza, Gywn Featonby, Julie Crossman, Dr Julie McCullough, Nicolle Mitchell, Zoe Warner and Dr Carol Samuel – as well as the winners of The FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research, Nicola Brough and Professor Stewart-Brown.

More information can be found in Chamberlain Dunn’s official Complementary Therapy Awards 2018 Winners’ Guide and the FHT will be featuring the winners in International Therapist magazine – look out for future issues.

Complementary Therapy Awards shortlist announced

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A big ‘Congratulations!’ to all those who have made it through to the finals of the 2018 Complementary Therapy Awards, sponsored by the FHT.

The finalists were announced by event organisers, Chamberlain Dunn, on 12 September and we’re delighted that a number of FHT members, FHT accredited course providers and former FHT Excellence Award winners have been shortlisted, including:

  • Kelly De Souza, MFHT, senior holistic therapist, Willowbrook Hospice (shortlisted for The Award for Prevention and Self-Care)
  • Gwyn Featonby and Julie Crossman, NHS Natural Health School (shortlisted for The Award for Cancer Care)
  • Dr Julie McCullough, MFHT, reflexologist and research associate at Ulster University (shortlisted for The FHT Award for Complementary Therapy Research)
  • Nicolle Mitchell, MFHT, specialist in massage for dementia (shortlisted for The Award in Mental Health and Well-being)
  • Zoe Warner, founder of Therapies4Forces (shortlisted for The Award for Mental Health and Well-being)
  • Dr Carol Samuel, FFHT, reflexologist and training provider (shortlisted for The Award for Pain Management, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation)

The winners will be announced at a special awards lunch celebration on 18 October in London.

For more information and to see a list of all of the awards finalists, visit complementarytherapyawards.co.uk

Awards recognise the contribution of therapists working in pain management and palliative care

Complementary Therapy Awards

Sponsored by the FHT, the Complementary Therapy Awards aim to acknowledge the success, innovation and best practice of complementary therapists. Whether you help clients manage a chronic condition, illness, or support general wellbeing, award organisers Chamberlain Dunn would like to hear from you.

In this blog post we take a look at two of this year’s categories, the Award for Palliative Care and the Award for Pain Management, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation.

Palliative care: improving the quality of life

Complementary therapies can improve quality of life, sleep and pain management in those receiving palliative and end of life care. Some therapists will also show the patient’s close friend or relative some gentle techniques, so that they can have a productive and comforting role to play at this crucial time, which can otherwise leave them feeling helpless.

The award for palliative care is about showcasing how therapies are helping people receiving palliative or end of life care, as well as their families and carers. Entries for this category so far include therapies such as reflexology, reiki, massage, aromatherapy, Bowen and story massage.

So whether you are an individual practitioner or working as part of a bigger team, please feel free to enter. Or you might be someone who has experience of how complementary therapies have helped a friend or family member and want to help the practitioner get recognition for their work.

Pain: offering relief and support

Pain has a huge impact on every aspect of a person’s daily life and also on the lives of those around them. People living with pain will undoubtedly experience fear, frustration, loneliness and isolation at some point, this on top of living and coping with pain. Pain management is one of the most under-funded services in the NHS and yet is one of the most common, debilitating and potentially life-changing conditions.

Across the UK complementary therapies are offering relief and support for sufferers, whether that is in pain management, injury prevention or rehabilitation. Chamberlain Dunn is seeking applications from therapists who are helping to improve pain perception and pain management. Entries for this category include therapists successfully offering osteopathy, remedial and sports massage, myofascial therapy and reflexology.

Deadlines

FHT members will receive free entry if they apply before 31 July. Before submitting your entry please contact Chamberlain Dunn at rachael@chamberdunn.co.uk or 0208 33 44 500 for a ‘discount code’ to enter at the checkout.

Any entries after the above date will cost £45 each and need to be submitted by 5pm on Wednesday 3 September.

Find out more or enter the awards