(At the launch of the NHS Natural Health School (from left to right): Jean Williams, Julie Crossman, Sarah Grant, Kush Kumar, Christine Armstrong, Matthew Mackaness, Gwyn Featonby)
In June 2018 the NHS Natural Health School opened its doors at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre in Harrogate. The school is the first of its kind and was created in response to complementary therapy services frequently being unavailable to cancer patients, despite the positive physical and emotional benefits.
Sarah Grant, CNHC Board Member and Macmillan Patient Information and Health and Wellbeing Manager, was directly involved with this fantastic achievement. The school is a charitable fund enterprise with all profits being reinvested into the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust (HDFT) Charitable Fund’s Complementary Therapy Service (Registered charity no 1050008).
The school provides complementary therapy diplomas and CPD courses that will uniquely include practical placements and clinical supervision within the NHS. In addition to a range of regulated ITEC Level 3 courses, a unique ‘NHS Certificate in Complementary Therapies’ has been created for complementary therapists already qualified at Level 3. This course provides an opportunity for those who wish to develop and expand their skills with cancer patients to the standards required by NHS organisations.
These transferable skills can be applied across a range of therapies and services, focusing on clinical governance and the mandatory training required to work safely in a clinical environment. Students will need to achieve set competencies during 100 hours of clinically supervised practice directly within healthcare settings. Once graduated with a Level 3 qualified practitioner, an NHS endorsed complementary therapist certificate will be awarded which not only supports the capability for employment within the NHS but earns the right to a place on the school’s enhanced trusted provider resource list.
It took years of planning and organising to get the school up and running, including the rigorous process of ITEC Centre approval. Sarah Grant reflects on the work undertaken: “during the past four years we collected clinical and anecdotal evidence which demonstrate categorically the positive and considerable impact Complementary Therapy can have while patients face the varying and often debilitating treatments and surgeries associated with cancer. We know therapies alleviate pain, reduce stress and combat anxiety.”
We are delighted with this wonderful achievement and wish them success.
For further details on the NHS Health School visit: www.nhsnaturalhealthschool.co.uk