Complementary Therapy Awards Winners 2018


The first Complementary Therapy awards celebration lunch was held on 18 October 2018 at the Cumberland Hotel, London. With an opening address from Dr Michael Dixon, chair of the College of Medicine, it was attended by guests, finalists and supporters from across the world of complementary therapy in the UK to celebrate the inspiring achievements of therapists working to improve patient health and well-being.

The overall winner of these new awards, developed in association with the Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT), was The Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust, which supports cancer patients and their families by providing funds to employ complementary therapists (healers) in the NHS and Hospices. The Trust emerged as the overall winner as it set out a very clear model of how to introduce complementary therapy into mainstream healthcare and keep it there. In particular it addresses a major obstacle to the spread of complementary therapy into mainstream healthcare – lack of funding. Several other finalists made mention of the charity as an important step on their road to integration.

The Award was presented to the Trust’s director, Angie Buxton by Dr Michael Dixon. The judges commended their overt purpose – to put a healer at the bedside of every cancer patient, and their clear set of replicable steps that could be adopted by other therapies.

Gina Reinge of the Reinge Clinic was presented with the Award for pain management, injury prevention and rehabilitation for her work helping a woman suffering from the rare degenerative disease arachnoiditis to get moving again so she could walk without pain. The Award was presented by Paul Hitchcock, director of Blade Values, former director of the Allied Health Professions Federation and a passionate advocate for making our health and care service sustainable.

The winner of the Award for mental health and well-being was Naji Malak, co-founder, and CEO of Stand Easy Military Support who has achieved great results by using a specialist form of acupuncture to help ex-service people deal with post traumatic stress disorder. The award was presented by Beverley Turner, broadcaster, LBC talk show host and author of the Happy Birth book.

The Award for palliative care went to Elaine Cooper, clinical lead specialist complementary therapies and Rachel Clark, lead complementary therapist palliative care, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust who are celebrating 25 years of providing complementary therapies in NHS palliative care, supported by charity in the beginning and now funded by NHS commissioning. It was presented by Michele Gordon and Angela Green from the National Association of Complementary Therapists in Hospice and Palliative CARE (NACTHPC).

Christopher Byrne, president of the FHT presented the FHT Award for complementary therapy research to Nicola Brough, clinic director, Torus Wellbeing Clinic, and Sarah Stewart-Brown, professor and Chair of Public Health, University of Warwick for their work in developing and validating the Warwick Holistic Health Questionnaire (a patient reported outcome measure) to assess changes in health and wellbeing of craniosacral therapy/CAM users.

The Award for furthering integrated healthcare was presented by Johann Ilgenfritz, founder of our media partner, UK Health Radio, and went to Gwyn Featonby, education lead and Julie Crossman, complementary therapy lead, NHS Natural Health School, Harrogate, who provide complementary therapies for patients in the hospital’s chemotherapy and cancer centre. They are funded by charitable donations but are on NHS contracts.

The Award for prevention and self-care was presented by author and BBC and UK Health Radio broadcaster Janey Lee Grace, to Roberta Meldrum, Director of the Letchworth Centre for Healthy Living for their Positive Movement project to get older people on the move using a range of techniques that fit in with everyday life.

Brittany Spence, chair of the British Complementary Medicine Association (BCMA) and Tracey Smith of the Association of Reflexologists presented the Award for cancer care to Angie Buxton-King, director of the Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust for her work providing healing in hospitals and hospices. The charity donates funds to NHS cancer centres and hospices to employ pracitioners of Reiki and Healing who are often then taken on by the NHS.

The awards are open to complementary therapists based in the UK, whether they work as a single-handed practitioner or within an organisation. The platinum sponsor is the FHT and UK Health Radio is the awards media partner. Supporters of the awards include the College of Medicine, BCMA, Association of Reflexologists, NACTHPC, The British Reflexology Association, Association for Naturopathic Practitioners, the Research Council for Complementary Medicine and Private Practice Hub.

Please contact Rachael Fisher on 020 8334 4500 or for further details or photographs from the event. Interviews with the finalists can be listened to on-demand on UK Health Radio.