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





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.


Sir Sam Everington set to speak at 2018 FHT Conference

Sam Everington.jpgWe are pleased to say that pioneering GP Sir Sam Everington will be joining us as a speaker at the 2018 FHT Conference next month.

Sir Sam Everington is a GP, chair of Tower Hamlet’s Clinical Commissioning Group, elected member of the British Medical Association’s Council, director of Community Health Partnerships, Honorary Professor of Queen Mary University of London and vice president of the College of Medicine and Queen’s Nursing Institute.

He believes that quality of life is the strongest determinant of good health and has been championing lifestyle changes, social prescription and care in the community for many years. He is part of the Bromley By Bow GP partnership, an innovative community organisation with more than 100 projects to support wider determinants of health, a subject he will discuss at the 2018 FHT Conference. For this he has developed a working model of social prescription, helping to support the community in Tower Hamlets, London, an area with high deprivation and poverty.

In addition, he co-founded the Tower Hamlets GP out of hours service and has published a number of articles on discrimination in the NHS, with Professor Aneez Esmail.

In 1999 he received an OBE for services to inner city primary care and a knighthood in 2015 for services to primary care. Sir Sam Everington was also the first medic to arrive at the scene of the 7/7 bombings in 2005.

Read more about social prescribing

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



Supported by

College of Medicine logoUK Health Radio logo.jpg

Reflexology researcher to speak at 2018 FHT Conference

Conference Julie McCulloughWe’re delighted to have Dr Julie McCullough join us as a speaker at the 2018 FHT Conference.

Dr McCullough is a research associate at Ulster University and has been a complementary therapist for the past 12 years. She has a degree in human nutrition and completed her PhD at Ulster University in 2015.

As part of her PhD, Dr McCullough joined scientists investigating the impact of antenatal reflexology on women experiencing stress caused by pregnancy-related low back and/or pelvic girdle pain. A range of treatment related outcomes were investigated in the randomised controlled trial, including pain management, stress hormone  levels, heart rate, blood pressure, intranatal outcomes and labour duration. The findings of The CAM in Pregnancy Trial were very positive, which Dr McCullough will discuss in her talk, along with what it was like to be involved in this research, as a complementary therapist, scientist and mother.

Dr McCullough has authored and co-authored 12 peer-reviewed research papers and is currently working on the ConnectEpeople Project, which aims to develop new research priorities by connecting families who have a child with a congenital anomaly, with researchers across Europe.

Read Dr McCullough’s article on her reflexology research

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



Supported by

College of Medicine logoUK Health Radio logo.jpg