School for thought

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

NHS Natural Health lo-res

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.

Celebrating the winners

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To celebrate the success of our 2018 FHT Excellence Awards winners who were announced at our 2018 FHT Conference in November, we’ve produced a special brochure where you can learn more about their work and why our judges thought they were deserving of their award.  Click here to read our special winners guide .

And for those that didn’t attend the conference but would like to experience some of the inspiring talks that were given by the expert speakers at the event, we’ve put together a highlights video with some of the best bits.

Thank you to everyone that attended the conference and made it one of our best events yet. We hope to see you at the next one.

FHT’s International Therapist magazine shortlisted for excellence award

The FHT is thrilled at today’s announcement that International Therapist has been shortlisted for the Best Association Magazine category of the Association Excellence Awards 2018.

The awards, organised by GCN Events, aim to ‘recognise and reward the hard-won achievements of UK trade bodies, professional membership organisations and associations [and] highlight excellence in how these operate and serve their members’.

Karen Young, FHT’s Editor and Communications Manager, said: ‘We’re all incredibly excited that International Therapist has been listed as a finalist in these prestigious awards. It’s a real testament to everyone involved in producing the magazine, not least our members, whose contributions and feedback helps us to shape International Therapist, ensuring it remains topical and one of the most highly respected publications for professional therapists.’

Fingers crossed for 12 October, when the winners will be announced! We’ll be sure to keep members informed.

Excellence in education

Education awards

Have you helped a student therapist reach their full potential?

Perhaps, you taught a student lacking in confidence, who didn’t feel very capable in a classroom, but was transformed into a high achiever when they discovered their passion for therapies?

Are you a student therapist who has overcome seemingly impossible odds to excel in education?

Has an inspirational colleague really raised the bar in therapy education?

Do you work as part of a team that has transformed the way that students are taught therapies, leading to unprecedented results?

Maybe you study with a student leader, who has not only succeeded on a personal level, but has helped you and your fellow classmates raise the standard of your work?

Have you been inspired by a training provider who went beyond what was required of them to ensure your educational success?

If any of the above sounds familiar, or if you have an equivalent therapy success story, we’d love to hear from you. We will be celebrating the wonderful work and achievements of our members, student members and training providers at the 2018 FHT Excellence Awards.

Hear from previous winners

In 2013 Amanda Brooks, MFHT, was named FHT Tutor of the Year for bringing dedication and passion into her teaching. One of her students said, ‘Amanda has all the expected qualities of a tutor deserving of a nomination; she is kind, dedicated, available, supportive and an excellent communicator. But what sets Amanda apart from other outstanding tutors is she strives to adapt her teaching style for each individual student to make sure everyone in the class gets the best possible outcome for the time they invest in their studies.’

Last year’s FHT Student of the Year, Stacey Radcliffe, performed exceptionally well in her studies, while dealing with the loss of loved ones and breast cancer. Anyone would be forgiven for stepping back from their studies but Stacey worked diligently towards her goal, not letting serious ill-health or tragedy prevent her from achieving what she set out to do.

Stacey commented on her award win, saying, ‘I feel so honoured, proud and humbled to accept this award. I am truly overwhelmed and so grateful for the support, kindness and empathy that I have been shown, by my family, friends, tutors, peers and the FHT. This award is the perfect end to completing my degree and I am so excited to see where this takes me in my next chapter as a fully qualified complementary therapist’.

Award categories

You can self-nominate, or put forward an inspirational colleague or team, for one of the following categories (click for entry criteria):

Closing date 30 June, 2018

Click here to enter

FHT member wins award for best healthcare provider

Jackie Grimley

FHT member Jackie Grimley has won the Best Healthcare Provider award at the Families First Awards, held earlier this month in Belfast.

Jackie was put forward for the award by clients of her therapy business, Serenity Holistics, where she specialises in reflexology.

Delighted with the win, Jackie told the FHT, ‘I am really blown away by this news. For me the award means a lot but it is also an opportunity to work together with other therapists and spread the word on behalf of our industry – to show what we can offer and what we can do for our clients.

‘My clients are amazing and hold great trust in me, as I do in them. You really meet the most amazing and kind people in this job, and it is wonderful that what we do makes a difference to their lives.’

Jackie is also the coordinator of the South Tyrone FHT Local Support Group, a role which she enjoys. Jackie says, ‘I love to help other therapists, even in simple ways, such as advice with logo designs, about business premises, rent etc. It is better to work together in this world, that way you get more done. I hope that winning this award will push other therapists to believe in their therapy work and keep doing what they love to do.’

 

Find out more about FHT local support groups

Read our six good reasons to enter professional awards

Helping clients from injury to recovery

athletes relaxation massage before sport event

Have you helped an athlete transition from a debilitating injury to full recovery?

Has an inspirational colleague really raised the bar in sports therapy excellence?

Do you work as part of a team that works with professional athletes, providing cutting-edge pitch-side support?

Perhaps you have given an athlete the tools to overcome mental and physical challenges that resulted from injury?

Maybe you know a therapist whose injury prevention strategies have helped sports people continue to perform at the highest level?

If any of the above sounds familiar, or if you have an equivalent therapy success story, we’d love to hear from you. We will be celebrating the wonderful work and achievements of our members at the 2018 FHT Excellence Awards.

Hear from previous winners

Last year, Sheree Phelps, MFHT, was named Sports Therapist of the Year at the 2017 FHT Excellence Awards for her work with athletes, including her voluntary service with the Welsh Rugby Union’s Elite Women’s Programme. Speaking about her win, Sheree said: ‘This award means so much to me. Coming from a competitive sporting career, it has always been important for to me to build a professional and welcoming practice for my clients. Having the knowledge to clearly explain why and how I am going to treat them, in an empathetic and relaxing environment, so that they can unwind from their daily stresses has always been my ultimate goal.’

Award categories

You can self-nominate, or put forward an inspirational colleague or team, for one of the following categories (click for entry criteria):

Closing date 30 June, 2018

Click here to enter

 

Making a difference to client wellbeing

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Have you helped a client get their life back on track?

Has an inspirational colleague really raised the bar in therapy excellence?

Do you work as part of a team that works with terminally ill clients, providing life-changing support to them, their families and carers?

Perhaps you set up an innovative and sustainable healthcare model that leads the way in allowing patients access to first class therapeutic support?

Maybe you have helped a client overcome debilitating body image issues and witnessed profound changes in their confidence and sense of self worth?

If any of the above sounds familiar, we’d love to hear from you. We will be celebrating the wonderful work and achievements of our members at the 2018 FHT Excellence Awards.

Hear from previous winners

In 2016 Angela Wheat, FFHT, was named Beauty Therapist of the Year for her life-changing electrolysis work for transgender clients. On winning the award, Angela said, “I feel honoured and thrilled to have my skills and professionalism recognised. I hope that winning this award will put the spotlight on the benefits of remedial electrolysis for men and women alike, as this treatment has the ability to change lives.”

Last year Barbara Scott, MFHT, became our Complementary Therapist of the year for supporting clients who had difficulty conceiving with reflexology. Speaking of her award win Barbara said, “I am truly delighted to have received this award in recognition of not just my own work, but the fantastic work that our practitioners do in supporting couples having difficulties in conceiving. My hope is that it allows us to let couples know that there is support for them, that reflexology is an excellent tool and that making even the smallest changes can be beneficial to them on their journey to parenthood.”

Award categories

You can self nominate, or put forward an inspirational colleague or team, for one of the following categories (click for entry criteria):

• FHT Complementary Therapist of the Year

• FHT Sports Therapist of the Year

• FHT Beauty Therapist of the Year

• FHT Student of the Year

• FHT Tutor of the Year

• FHT Local Support Group Coordinator of the Year

Closing date 30 June, 2018

Click here to enter

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