Quote of the Week

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Dr John Hughes is speaking about Research at the FHT Conference on the Friday 29 November at the Kings Fund, London.

John will be providing an overview of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs), including different types of PROMs that are client and therapist-friendly, the contexts where these can be used, benefits and limitations of PROMs, and how the data can be used to evaluate treatments and further integrated healthcare.

Find out more and get tickets at www.fht.org.uk/conference.



Meet the speakers: Suzanne Ruggles, founder of the Full Circle Fund

Pictured: 2019 FHT Conference logo

Pictured: Suzanne Ruggles

Like last year’s inspiring event, which is a finalist for Best New Association Conference or Event in the 2019 Association Excellence Awards, the 2019 FHT Conference – on Friday 29 November at The King’s Fund, London – will focus on the ways professional therapists like you can be a part of the future of integrated health and social care.

We’re delighted to be joined by experts in education, healthcare and research, who will deliver talks on a range of topics. This week, we’re highlighting the incredible work of speaker Suzanne Ruggles, MSc, DipHE, MFHT, and founder of the Full Circle Fund.

About Suzanne

Suzanne set up and ran a successful design business in London until in 1996, she was diagnosed with lupus. Six years later she had a near-death experience caused by meningitis. As a result of both of her personal experiences, Suzanne discovered first-hand how integrated therapies can help someone to cope with their condition and symptoms. She went on to study mind-body medicine extensively in UK and America, gaining a Masters in Health Science from St George’s Medical School, and later founded the Full Circle Fund charity, to provide evidence-based support in hospitals to those facing a life-threatening or life-limiting illness.

The Full Circle Fund

Pictured: Full Circle FundThe Full Circle Fund has a team of 15 highly skilled practitioners working in two hospitals, consisting of paid therapists and volunteers. Partnering with a leading US hospital, they also undertake research and have an honorary clinical director of education and strategy leading their research committee.

They currently have many case studies being prepared for publication in peer-reviewed journals, and Suzanne presented the work of Full Circle at the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare, at which chair David Tredinnick MP said: ‘The Full Circle model should be rolled out nationally.’ They also hold two awards for their work in the NHS.

Suzanne’s talk

Suzanne will share with delegates her background, how she came to set up an award-winning integrated therapy programme at St George’s Hospital, London, and Brighton and Sussex University Hospital, and the ground-breaking work being carried out by the Full Circle team. During her presentation, Suzanne will also discuss the importance of evaluating the therapy service, some of the findings this revealed, and her collaborative reiki research.

Tickets to the 2019 FHT Conference are just £85 for FHT members (£105 for non-members) and include a networking buffet lunch, drinks reception and refreshments.

Last year’s conference sold out early, so we strongly recommend booking soon if you would like to secure your place.

Find out more and book your ticket

Sponsored by:

Pictured: Songbird logo      Pictured: WHHQ logo

Attended by:

Pictured: Professional Standards Authority logo

Pictured: Association Excellence Awards logo

Top five reasons to attend the 2019 FHT Conference



Pictured: quote from 2018 attendee



There’s just 10 weeks left until the 2019 FHT Conference, which is being held on Friday 29 November at The King’s Fund, London. Tickets are selling fast, so we thought we’d run through our top five reasons for attending if you’re still undecided:

Pictured: the number 1 Discover how to get involved in the future of healthcare
At the event, you’ll hear from speakers working at the forefront of integrated healthcare who know how the current health system works, its future direction and the opportunities available for complementary therapists.

Pictured: the number 2Learn new skills to support your practice
As well as gaining a unique insight into integrated healthcare, you’ll learn how you can evaluate treatments using patient reported outcome measures and how to promote body esteem as a therapist.

Pictured: the number 3Hear about integrated healthcare success stories
Our speakers will also talk about the successes of the integrated health initiatives they have spearheaded, highlighting the benefits they have for patients and the therapists who are a part of these.

Pictured: the number 4Network with industry figures and like-minded therapists
The event will include ample opportunity to network with industry figures and other therapists attending, giving you the chance to make new connections and learn from each other’s experiences.

Pictured: the number 5Be inspired
Exploring the ways therapists like you can become an integral part of the future of health and care and hearing about the work of our 2019 FHT Excellence Award winners will leave you inspired about the possibilities for your own career.


Pictured: delegates at the 2018 FHT Conference


Tickets are just £85 for FHT members (£105 for non-members) and include a networking buffet lunch, drinks reception and refreshments.

Last year’s conference sold out early, so we strongly recommend booking soon if you would like to secure your place.

Find out more and book your ticket


Sponsored by:

Pictured: Songbird logo


Pictured: Association Excellence Awards banner

An NHS therapy school that works for all

NHS Natural Health School

The NHS Natural Health School is the first NHS-approved and owned complementary school, developed and run by NHS employees. Located in Harrogate District Hospital – part of Harrogate and District Foundation Trust – it was officially launched in May 2018 after four years of hard work by its dedicated team.

The school was developed to create a self-sustaining model of care for cancer patients, delivered by therapists trained to the highest standards of care expected of any health professional working within the NHS.

Gwyn Featonby, one of the school’s founders, said its mission is to provide complementary therapy diplomas and CPD courses that uniquely include practical placements and clinical supervision within the NHS. This allows therapists to gain experience treating patients with complex healthcare needs that they may have been unable to treat in their initial training.

Courses include foundation-level training in a range of complementary therapies, CPD and advanced courses in many areas of complex patient management and courses delivered in collaboration with other training providers. One of its most innovative developments has been the NHS certificate programme for complementary therapists, which involves a clinical work placement and competency-based learning programmes that meet the essential standards as directed by the Care Quality Commission, national occupational standards and agreed competencies for the specialist pathway as set by clinicians.

Gwyn has noted that the school’s courses are not only for those looking to work within the NHS, but also those who want to treat a wider range of clients. It is estimated that by 2030, around 50% of the population will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, so having evidence-based clinical training for treating such patients will be of benefit to all therapists.

The model created by the team means that for each cohort of students they have on a training pathway, 72 patients are removed from the complementary therapy service waiting list. Patients are referred for treatment by a health professional at the centre, many of whom have experienced the treatments first-hand or have simply seen how different therapies have helped their patients – from helping to resolve sleep issues to pain management. Such issues may have previously required referral to a specialist and cost the NHS precious time and money, highlighting the value of the service.

The team intend to continue refining the model before introducing it to other departments at the hospital and ultimately licensing it to other Trusts, benefitting patients, therapists, health professionals and the wider health service alike.

Learn more about the NHS Natural Health School, the training it provides and how the model supports patients, medical staff and the trust in Gwyn Featonby and Sarah Grant’s talk at the 2019 FHT Conference.

Find out more about the event and book your tickets

FHT supports Olympia Beauty this September


FHT is delighted to sponsor the National Massage Championship again this year, held at Olympia Beauty on Sunday 29 and Monday 30 September.

Olympia Beauty, Autumn’s biggest event for beauty professionals and celebrating its fifteenth year, prides itself in bringing the beauty industry together, with a continued focus on education, training and standards.

Education, standards and training are paramount to the development and growth of beauty professionals and the quality of care their clients can expect to receive. In an industry where education is fast-moving and the training arena is constantly developing, the show has made it their mission on this, their fifteenth year, to really bring education opportunities to the show, both free and paid for.

As part of this focus area, they have launched The Education Club; a brand new feature to Olympia Beauty, offering a wide range of exciting education opportunities. Hosted in the Henley Suites at Olympia London, the three rooms offer a number of educational sessions provided by an incredible panel of beauty brands and educators. These sessions include masterclasses, training sessions and workshops, both free and paid-for.

In addition, therapists have been invited to showcase their technique and bodywork skills at the National Massage Championship, covering six different categories: Advanced Massage, SPA/Wellness Massage, Freestyle Massage, Eastern Massage, Chair Massage and Swedish/Deep Tissue Massage. The National Massage Championship is run by therapists for therapists and judged by their panel of international judges with extensive professional massage therapy experience, including FHT Vice President Mary Dalgleish.

To register for your tickets today go to www.olympiabeauty.co.uk and to find out more about the National Massage Championship go to www.olympiabeauty.co.uk/thenmc

Promoting positive body image as a therapist

body image

Body satisfaction refers to a positive relationship a person has with their body involving both unconditional approval and respect. Research indicates, however, that many people are unhappy with their bodies, with a recent study suggesting that 60% of UK adults feel ashamed of how they look.

For many therapists, the primary motivation for working in the industry is to make people feel better both physically and psychologically. But the way in which treatments are marketed may sometimes undermine this aim by reinforcing damaging body ideals.

Dr Fiona Holland, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Derby whose research has focused on body image, has previously explored some of these issues for International Therapist magazine. She has highlighted how the language used to describe and market therapy treatments can act to reinforce body-shaming beliefs by making promises to ‘fix’ people and by positioning cosmetic features such as the signs of ageing as negative and something to be ‘fought’.

Dr Holland has also discussed how the imagery used to promote therapies can have similar effects. She asked a group of people to conduct an image search on an internet search engine using either the word ‘spa’ or ‘wellness’ and then review the first forty images in the results. The group found that most of the people depicted in the images were young and female, and included only one or two non-white women and white men. More surprisingly to the group, all of the images featured people whose bodies conformed to idealised body shapes and sizes.

While it might be thought good business to use ‘aspirational’ imagery that promotes certain body ideals and to employ the language of ‘problems’ and ‘fixes’, research suggests that making people feel good about themselves and representing diverse body types can also boost sales. Dove’s famous ‘campaign for real beauty’, which harnessed the power of body positivity for all, is a prime example of this. Moreover, for many therapists who put their clients’ health and wellbeing at the heart of all they do, doing what they can to promote positive body esteem will be a priority.

Learn more about Dr Fiona’s research and the ways you can promote positive body esteem at the 2019 FHT Conference

2019 Conference Fiona Holland imageFiona will give an overview of the impact of negative body image across different populations and outline the benefits of developing and maintaining body esteem. She will outline ways therapists can reinforce positive body image and esteem and will give delegates practical guidance in how to do this. Fiona will encourage delegates to consider creating a pro-esteem environment to benefit wellbeing and promote healthier self-talk and body-supportive behaviours.

A senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Derby, Fiona supports students in modules and research projects that link with health and wellbeing. Fiona qualified as a massage therapist in 1997 and ran her own massage and wellbeing practice in the USA. Her research interests include behaviour change, body esteem, breast cancer and body image, and the benefits of wellbeing interventions on psychological health.

Find out more and book your tickets to the event

Patient reported outcome measures


Patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) are tools that can be used by therapists to capture information about the services they provide, from the perspective of the client.

There are a number of different types of PROMs but most are in the form of a simple questionnaire, which is completed during the consultation process and can help to monitor change between treatments. For example, the client might be asked to choose one or two current concerns they have, and then rate these on a scale of 0 to 6. Depending on the individual, this could be the level of pain they are experiencing, or something else that is affecting their health, wellbeing or quality of life.

By recording this data, therapists can assess the changes in clients over time or after a specific number of treatments. This can help to provide evidence that a treatment plan is having the desired effect or, conversely, indicate that it may not be the most appropriate course of action for the client’s presenting problem.

The 2019 FHT member survey showed that 15% of FHT members are already using PROMs to monitor client or patient progress. Many of these therapists work in hospices, hospitals and other healthcare settings, where PROMs are often used to evaluate a complementary therapy service and hopefully demonstrate its value to those accessing treatment.

Examples of PROMS that can be used by therapists include MYMOP, MYCAW and WEMWBS, as well as the more recently developed WHHQ.

As a long-standing corporate member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Integrated Healthcare (PGIH), the FHT is supportive of the recommendation in its recently published Integrated Health report that ‘Complementary, traditional and natural healthcare associations should take steps to educate and advise their members about the use of Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profiles (MYMOP), and patient outcome measures should be collated by an independent central resource to identify for what conditions patients are seeking treatment, and with what outcomes’.

At present, the Research Council for Complementary Medicine is in discussions with the PGIH regarding independently collating and analysing patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) data gathered from members of complementary therapy associations, including the FHT.

The FHT will keep its members updated of any progress in future communications and at the 2019 FHT Conference at The King’s Fund, London, this November (see below).

Learn more about patient reported outcome measures at the 2019 FHT Conference

Dr John Hughes will be providing an overview of patient reported outcome measures at this year’s FHT Conference, including different types of PROMs that are client and therapist-friendly, the contexts where these can be used, benefits and limitations of PROMs, and how the data can be used to evaluate treatments and further integrated healthcare.

John is director of research for the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine, UCLH NHS Trust, and co-chair of the Research Council for Complementary Medicine (RCCM). He is also a visiting fellow within the Department of Primary Care and Population Sciences, University of Southampton, and works closely with the World Health Organisation on the subject of traditional medicine.

Find out more and book your tickets for the 2019 FHT Conference

2019 FHT Excellence Awards Finalists Announced

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The FHT is delighted to announce the finalists for its prestigious 2019 FHT Excellence Awards, which showcase how professional therapy practitioners and trainers are making a difference to those living and working in their local community.

This year’s FHT Excellence Awards finalists are:


FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year

Rebecca Ayres

Julie Crossman

Jackie Hamilton

Emi Howe

Lorraine Millard

Louise Summerscales


FHT Sports Therapist of the Year

Rebecca Ayres

Alexandra Fraser

Emily Pollington


FHT Beauty Therapist of the Year

Alison Day

Fiona Murphy

Joanna Taplin


FHT Student of the Year

Elle Bussey

Samantha Killian

Philip Norton


FHT Tutor of the Year

Katherine Creighton Crook

Marie Duggan

Carol Samuel


FHT Local Group Coordinator of the Year

Dee Kelsall

Carina Stinchcombe

Hazel Tudor


Christopher Byrne, FHT President, says: ‘Every year, without fail, the shortlisting process leaves our judges feeling truly humbled and privileged, as it gives us a unique insight into the amazing work our members are doing on a daily basis. Good luck to this year’s finalists and as always, keep up the excellent work. What you do matters.’

The winners of the 2019 FHT Excellence Awards will be announced at a special FHT Conference to be held at The King’s Fund, London, on Friday 29 November, where guests will be able to hear from leading experts in education, research and integrated healthcare (see fht.org.uk/conference  for more details). Tickets start from just £75 but spaces are limited – book now to avoid disappointment and to take advantage of early bird prices.

FHT event shortlisted for Association Excellence Award

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We are delighted to announce that the FHT has been shortlisted as finalists for this year’s Association Excellence Awards.

Following a very successful 2018 FHT Conference in November, at the King’s Fund in London, we join five other finalists, all hoping to win the excellence award for Best New Association Conference or Event.

The 2018 FHT Conference was a fantastic opportunity for us bring together leading experts in research, education, and health and social care to discuss some of the many ways professional therapists can help to support the public and health professionals, and share successful models of integrated care.

Held at The King’s Fund, London, the conference featured talks by researchers, Professor Nicola Robinson and Dr Julie McCullough; therapists working in integrated care, Jennifer Young and Anita Mehrez; as well as two of social prescription’s pioneering GPs, Sir Sam Everington and Dr Michael Dixon.

We look forward to hosting a conference again this year, which will be taking place at The King’s Fund, London, on Friday 29 November.

The conference will once again bring together leading experts in research, education and healthcare to explore the future of integrated health and social care. We will also be announcing the winners of our annual FHT Excellence Awards on the day – shining a spotlight on the different ways therapies can make a difference to the health and wellbeing of others.

Learn how you can be part of the integrated healthcare revolution