A recent FHT conference brought together leading experts in research, education and health and social care, to explore some of the challenges and opportunities for the successful 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.
Delegates also enjoyed listening to presentations from two of the most influential GPs in health care – Dr Michael Dixon, who discussed the potential for complementary therapists to get involved in social prescribing and personal health budgets, and Sir Sam Everington, who provided an insight into the Bromley By Bow Centre, which offers a range of integrated services to create a healthy community. Both GPs stressed that it’s important for therapists to ‘win over the hearts’ of medical professionals and although this can take time, it is important to persist.
Talks by Anita Mehrez, MFHT, a member of the complementary health and wellbeing team at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and Jennifer Young, MFTH, founder of Beauty Despite Cancer, also offered delegates an insight into how different therapies can be used alongside conventional medical care to support those impacted by cancer.
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.
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.
‘It was also a real pleasure to see our 2018 FHT Excellence Award winners receive some much-deserved recognition as part of the event programme, particularly as they too are doing work that is helping to support the integrated health agenda. Congratulations, and keep up the excellent work. What you do really makes a difference.’
2018 FHT Excellence Awards winners
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
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
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
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
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
More information about the winners will be made available on our website and in a special 2018 FHT Excellence Awards Winner Guide at fht.org.uk/awards