After working with the team at Sue Ryder and on the wards at West Berkshire Community Hospital, I knew I wanted to work full time in trauma care, on an NHS ward if I could. These positions are few and far between in the UK and are rarely paid.
I applied immediately upon seeing the advertisement for a full time Cancer and Palliative Care Complementary Therapist at Dimbleby Cancer Care, based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust in London and was thrilled to be offered the position, which I accepted without hestiation.
We were working across both hospital sites, seeing both patients and their families, as outpatients, inpatients and whilst receiving chemotherapy. I was offering aromatherapy, massage, reflexology and reiki treatments and must have seen at least 1500 patients in my time with the trust. It was a privilege to work with Dimbleby Cancer Care and the team of therapists and the wider multidisciplinary team. We enjoyed the highs and lows alongside our patients and again I felt most at home working on the wards. As with my work in Bosnia, I felt connected to the trauma that people were experiencing and noticed the fear affecting both psyche and body in similar ways. I think this was the start of the development of The Quiet Way approach.
The view from our rooms at St Thomas’ was fabulous, as you can see from the above photograph. This was taken at training day for therapist, exploring Reflexology for chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, led by Dr Peter Mackareth. Great to connect with other therapists in the same area of work and learn from each other.
To this day, I miss working on the wards at Guy’s, as I do working in Bosnia, and remain keen to remain at the ‘front line’ of trauma care.