Butterwick Therapists Win National Award

Butterwick Hospice Complementary Therapists Sue Dobson and Amanda Kirton were delighted to win a national award from the Federation of Holistic Therapists for their work that has been commended by the MND Association. Sue and Amanda won the first prize for:

Excellence in Innovation

Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) - 2015 FHT Excellence AwardsThis award focuses on the imaginative and creative use of original or adapted ideas and techniques, for example the development of a new product, teaching tool or therapy service. 

Joint Winners: Susan Dobson and Amanda Kirton (Sue is second from left and Amanda second from right in this official photo).

Amanda and Sue are members of the Complementary Therapy Team at Butterwick Hospice, Stockton on Tees, where they are part of a group of professionals that set up a support service for patients with Motor Neurone Disease. The service was initially set up as a 3-month pilot, to provide complementary therapies to newly diagnosed patients. Internal assessment, and an external audit by the Middlesbrough MND Care Centre, provided evidence that patients found this innovative service to be excellent, well delivered, met patients’ needs, improved their symptoms, and reduced the likelihood of them accessing care services unnecessarily. The success of this service has also attracted funding from the MND Association and Neuroscience Services.

Sue and Amanda were nominated by team members Glynis Finnigan, Head of Complementary Therapies at Butterwick and Butterwick's Day Care, Clinical Sister, Kath Murphy, as well as MND Nurse & Care Coordinator, Anthony Hanratty, who works as part of the team delivering the MND First Contact Group at Butterwick Hospice in Stockton.

Commendation also came from the MND Regional Care Development Adviser for Cleveland, North Yorkshire & East Riding of Yorkshire, Mr. Colin Pearson who said of the innovative service:

"Patients who have never previously engaged in either traditional hospice or MNDA support clearly highlight the benefits of engaging in this form of support, with some leaving work early to attend the therapy sessions. The benefits have been numerous, backed up by their patient feedback forms to the hospice, and mutual support which is clearly evident through the conversation in the packed hospice conservatory. Through the partnership working between Butterwick Hospice, Middlesbrough MND Care Centre and the MNDA, we have identified an efficient and productive model to work as a multi-disciplinary team, as well as improving support for patients and their families."

This specific service is now being set up in other hospices around the UK who have looked at the model created by Butterwick Hospice and the regional MND Centre. They have seen from the results of the Butterwick/MND association the benefits of this innovative service that brings together patients in a social and relaxed setting, specialist nursing and support, and the excellent complementary therapies provided by Butterwick Hospice which together make a very positive impact on the lives of those suffering from this frightening and currently incurable illness.

Award winner, Amanda Kirton said: "Sue and I are truly delighted. It is fantastic to win this award. The FHT said the standard of entries this year was so high. It is lovely to be recognised for the work you do. We concentrate on providing the best service we can for individual patients but to be nominated for and win a national award like this just proves the benefits of what we are doing." 

Amanda continued: "This success is the result of team work between Butterwick Hospice, the regional branch of the MNDA and our MND Specialist Nurse. By working together we have been able to understand and address the needs of a specific group of patients."

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