Congratulations to our Complementary Therapies team who have bagged a national award at the 2018 Complementary Therapy Awards!
The event, which took place for the first time at London’s Cumberland Hotel on 18 October, celebrated the achievements of therapists working to improve patient health and wellbeing across the UK. This included a spotlight on Walsall Healthcare’s very own Complementary Therapies team who received The Award for Palliative Care.
The service, which has been established for just over 25 years, offers treatment and interventions for patients with a palliative condition or cancer diagnosis; attempting to calm their anxieties and relieve symptoms such as pain.
Based at Goscote’s Palliative Care Centre, the team offer therapies such as reflexology, massage and acupuncture, whilst also teaching relaxation skills including breathing techniques and visualisation which the patients can use into their day-to-day lives.
The service also encourages the use of aromatherapy oils; recommending them for the relief they can provide with ailments such as itching, insomnia and pain. And for those experiencing hot flushes and sweating, a course of auricular acupuncture is available.
Elaine Cooper, Clinical Lead for Specialist Complementary Therapies, said: “Our service is fully integrated and works alongside the patient’s medical treatment to help enhance their comfort and quality of life.
“We want to make a positive difference when it comes to their physical and mental wellbeing.”
Rachel Clark, Lead Complementary Therapist (Non Cancer), added: “We have been able to support even the most unwell patients with our treatments.
“For example, we were recently able to support 56-year-old gentlemen who had been diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. He suffered with poor sleep, pain and severe sweats, however with the use of auricular acupuncture we saw a reduction in the amount of sweats he was experiencing, while he also commented that aromatherapy had enabled him to sleep better and that reflexology had significantly eased the pain in his joints.
“We provided care for this gentlemen in a clinic, on a hospice ward and at home – it was important to make the treatment accessible to him at all times throughout his care.”
While working with Walsall Manor Hospital and in partnership with St Giles Hospice (also based at the Palliative Care Centre) and local nursing homes, the service prides itself on being possibly the only CT service in the UK to deliver treatments wherever the patient is receiving care.
Elaine explained: “We are unique because we deliver care at the point of need; we offer appointments in outpatient clinics and can make visits to the patient’s home or while they are in a nursing home, hospital or hospice.”
When asked how she felt about winning the award Elaine replied: “For me it’s fantastic – I’m so happy for our service and the wider Palliative Care team; it’s great to bring the award to Walsall.”
Rachel added: “We are really passionate about what we do; everyone in the team works hard and we’re so proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s really nice to be recognised for the hard work we’ve put in!”
And thanks to their research around aromatherapy and pain relief, the team have also been shortlisted for an innovation award at the Trust’s very own Excellence Awards in November – best of luck!