Announcing the 2018 FHT Excellence Award winners

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Congratulations to all our winners and finalists at yesterday’s 2018 FHT Excellence Awards!

Held at The King’s Fund, London, on 29 November, the awards followed the FHT Conference, where leading experts in research, education and health and social care discussed the integration of complementary therapies into mainstream care.


Conference and awards host, Janey Lee Grace—a regular presenter on Radio 2 and UK Health Radio—announced the winners of the 2018 FHT Excellence Awards, which serve to recognise those raising the bar in therapy training and practice.

2018 FHT Excellence Awards winners

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Complementary Therapist of the Year
Winner: Jane Sheehan
For developing a new delivery model for a complementary therapy service within an NHS palliative care unit.

Highly Commended: Kelly De Souza, Marc Johnson, Julie McCullough

Finalists: Robert Sylvester Coleman, Julie Crossman, Jackie Grimley, Nicolle Mitchell
Awards Sports Therapist of the Year - Nefeli Tsiouti

Sports Therapist of the Year
Winner: Nefeli Tsiouti
For her work in helping to improve health and reduce injuries in dancers, professional artists and other movers.

Finalists: Sheree Phelps, Sophie Vowden

Sponsored by

Physique copy

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FHT Local Support Group Coordinator or the Year
Winner: Alison Brown
For sharing the content of her group meetings via a number of online platforms for therapists unable to attend in person.

Finalist: Kim Newman-Clark

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FHT Student of the Year
Winner: Brian Jauncey
For his inspirational story of retraining as a complementary therapist following his first-hand experience of using therapies for a back injury.

Finalist: Teresa Elliott

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FHT Tutor of the Year
Winner: Gwyn Featonby
For her work in developing the first NHS approved therapy training school and a unique NHS Certificate in Complementary Therapies.

Highly Commended: Dawn Morse

Finalists: Maureen Bonner, Sharon Mountford, Jane Sheehan


FHT Conference supports integrated healthcare

At yesterday’s FHT Conference we were delighted to bring together leading experts in research, education and health and social care, to discuss the integration of complementary therapies into mainstream care.


Held at The King’s Fund, London, on 29 November, the conference got under way with two presentations that focused on research. Professor Nicola Robinson discussed some key issues surrounding the collection and use of evidence base for therapies such as acupuncture, while Dr Julie McCullough highlighted the positive findings of a trial that looked at the impact of antenatal reflexology on women with pregnancy-related low back and/or pelvic girdle pain.


The talks generated interesting discussions on the merits of qualitative and quantitative research and what therapists new to research could do to prove the efficacy of their therapies. Look out for an article by Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown and Nicola Brough, on two different patient-reported outcome measures that are suitable for complementary therapies and integrated care, in the Winter 2019 issue of International Therapist, published in January.


Delegates also enjoyed listening to presentations from two of the most influential GPs in health care and trailblazers in social prescription—Sir Sam Everington and Dr Michael Dixon. Sir Everington left delegates captivated with an insight into Bromley By Bow Centre, a practice that has transformed health care in one of the most diverse and economically deprived areas in London, through community-based integrated services and referrals. Sir Everington told us that the philosophy at Bromley By Bow is ‘it’s not what’s the matter with the patient, it’s what matters to the patient’.


Dr Michael Dixon looked at the potential of social prescribing and personal health budgets, giving us an overview of the Culm Valley Integrated Centre For Health in Devon. Like Bromley By Bow, Dr Dixon’s practice champions social prescribing and community health, through integrated care but serves a very different local community. Dr Dixon told us that if patient-centred community care can work in both Bromley and the Culm Valley, it can be implemented anywhere in the UK. Discussions afterwards centred on how therapists could convince the NHS to work with them in their local communities. Both GPs said it is important to ‘win over the hearts’ of medical professionals and although this can take time, it is important to persist.

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Talks by Anita Mehrez, MFHT, a member of the complementary health and wellbeing team at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and Jennifer Young, MFHT, founder of Beauty Despite Cancer, offered delegates an insight into how  therapies have been successfully integrated into the NHS, working alongside conventional medical care to support those impacted by cancer. Jennifer found the NHS in her area very open to working with her and was even approached by her local hospital to set up an appearance and wellbeing clinic within a specialist cancer centre.

The day’s programme was then rounded off by conference host, Janey Lee Grace—a regular presenter on Radio 2 and UK Health Radio—announcing the winners of the 2018 FHT Excellence Awards, which serve to recognise those raising the bar in therapy training and practice.

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President of the FHT, Chris Byrne, says: ‘Everyone at the FHT is extremely proud of this event, not least because of the incredible speakers who took time out of their very busy schedules to share with us their vision of what truly integrated healthcare looks like. I personally came away inspired to think of new ways we can all work together to ensure even more people get access to the best of both conventional  and complementary care, which in turn will help to relieve some of the burden currently being placed on our healthcare system.’

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FHT member, Jacky Huson called the Conference ‘A fantastic and inspiring day’ and says ‘it was very affirming to hear speakers in the biomedical field being so supportive and proactive in integrating complementary therapies into their practice and promoting social prescription. At last a sensible way forward giving choice and responsibility to patients, with a real role for therapists.’

Helen Robinson, MFHT, says ‘Thank you for an absolutely excellent day, all the speakers were absolutely superb. I’ve come away buzzing with all the potential. Thank you so much….I’m very proud to be an FHT member.’



Learn how you can be a part of the future of healthcare at the 2018 FHT Conference

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Our current healthcare system is under a huge amount of pressure, and the value of professional therapists like you in helping to alleviate this is being increasingly recognised.

The integrated healthcare agenda seeks to take a more holistic, person-centred approach to care that is better coordinated across different health and social care providers. This contrasts with the more traditional approach to healthcare that the NHS was originally designed for, where episodes of illness are treated one at a time as they arise.

Professional therapists can play an important role in this new approach to healthcare, from helping patients to make positive lifestyle changes and take a more active role in managing their health, to addressing ‘effectiveness gaps’ and creating cost and time efficiencies within the NHS.

As well making the provision of health services more efficient, this will help to improve patient experience and health outcomes, and reduce gaps in service delivery.

Want to learn more? With a host of talks by experts in integrated healthcare, research and education, our 2018 FHT Conference, taking place on Thursday 29 November, will look at some of the many ways therapists can be a part of this new approach.

The talks will cover:

  • Evidence base and measuring treatment outcomes
  • Understanding therapies from a GP’s perspective
  • Integrated healthcare success stories and case studies
  • Overcoming barriers to integrated healthcare

Don’t miss out

There are just a few spaces remaining for the event, so if you’d like to attend, we strongly recommend booking soon to secure your place. If they don’t sell out before, the final day you will be able to purchase a ticket is Friday 16 November.

Book your tickets here or call 023 8062 4350



Final programme for the 2018 FHT Conference launched

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We’re thrilled to release the final order of events for our 2018 FHT Conference, which is taking place on Thursday 29 November at The King’s Fund, London.

At this special one-day event, you’ll hear from leading experts in integrated health, education and research speak about the ways in which complementary therapies can support the nation’s health and help the reduce some of the pressure on the NHS.

As well as being a great opportunity to learn how you, as a professional therapist, can be a part of the future of health and social care, FHT members will receive 5 CPD points for attending the full day of talks.


9.00am-9.30am: Registration and refreshments

9.30am-9.45am: Welcome

9.45am-10.30am: Professor Nicola Robinson

Research evidence—how it is used and how should it be collected?

10.30am-11.15am: Dr Julie McCullough, MFHT

Researching the effects of antenatal reflexology on pregnancy and labour outcomes

11.15am-11.30am: Break

11.30am-12.15pm: Anita Mehrez, MFHT

Making a difference—the complementary health and wellbeing team at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

12.15pm-1.00pm: Sir Sam Everington

Bromley by Bow Centre: a holistic approach to building a healthy community

1.00pm-2.00pm: Buffet lunch

2.00pm-2.45pm: Dr Michael Dixon

Challenges and opportunities for complementary therapy in the current healthcare landscape

2.45pm-3.30pm: Jennifer Young, MFHT

The impact of cancer on wellbeing and providing support through therapies

3.30pm-3.45pm: Refreshments

3.45pm-4.45pm: 2018 FHT Excellence Awards presentation

4.45pm-5.00pm: Closing comments

5.00pm-6.00pm: Drinks reception


*FHT reserves the right to adjust talk subjects and timings where necessary


About the FHT Conference

The conference will take place on Thursday 29 November at The King’s Fund in the heart of London’s West End and feature a host of talks presented by leading experts in research, education and integrated healthcare. Read more

Book your tickets here or call 023 8062 4350





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’

CTA2018 Chris with Nicola Brough

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.

Social prescription a priority in Theresa May’s loneliness strategy

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UK prime minister Theresa May has pledged to increase social prescribing by making it a key part of the first government loneliness strategy. Set to be implemented by 2023, the strategy will also see £1.8m allocated for community-based projects.

The decision to make loneliness a health priority follows on from research in 2017 by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, the legacy of the late Labour MP, who was committed to addressing the growing health problem, as well as initiatives by councils, charities and health experts.

According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, 75% of GPs see between one and five patients every day who come in mainly because they are lonely. Under the new government plans, social prescription will allow GPs to refer patients to non-clinical services, including community cafés, gardening, creative activities, cooking and healthy eating, counselling, mindfulness and complementary therapies.

Theresa May believes that social prescription will improve quality of life and take pressure off the NHS. Social prescription has long been championed by the College of Medicine, whose chairman, vice presidents and other council members are amongst its leading innovators. This includes 2018 FHT Conference speakers, Dr Michael Dixon and Sir Sam Everington, who have been developing working models of social prescription for more than a decade.

We look forward to hearing more about social prescription at our 2018 FHT Conference next month, which is supported by the College of Medicine.

In addition, Westminster Forum Projects has planned a keynote seminar on the future of social prescribing in England, on 26 March 2019 – visit the Westminster Health Forum section of their website for more details and to book.


Win a free ticket to the new Integrative Health Convention


Organised by Dr Toh Wong and Dr Naveed Akhtar, the aim of the Integrative Health Convention is to provide a platform where complementary and medical practitioners can meet, share, teach, and learn from each other, to help themselves and others.

The convention takes place on Sunday 13 and Sunday 14 October, at Park Plaza Victoria London, where delegates can choose from more than 30 talks across both days, covering physical and psychological therapies, as well as business and marketing.

FHT members can enter a free prize draw to win one of five two-day tickets to the convention – simply email your full name, FHT membership number and post code to writing ‘Convention’ in the subject box by midnight, Sunday 7 October for a chance to win.*

For more information about the convention, visit

*Competition terms and conditions apply – FHT members can visit for full details. Winners will be notified by email on Monday 8 October, 2018. Please note that the personal data you provide the FHT in relation to any FHT prize draw or competition will not be shared with any third party, and will be erased three months after the closing date of the prize draw or competition. Where it is necessary to share your personal data with a third party (for example, to send a prize out to you, direct from the supplier), the FHT will contact you to ask for your express permission to share the minimum amount of personal data required to complete this task.