Cardiff and Vale College Complementary Healthcare students boost patient wellbeing at UHW

24 May 2023

Level 5 HND Complementary Healthcare with Practitioner Status students at Cardiff and Vale College have been using their therapy skills to help patients at the University Hospital of Wales (UHW).

The aim of the HND qualification is to enable students to use their therapies alongside the medical profession and work with illness. The students have been attending the Haematology and Teenage Cancer Trust wards at UHW once a week to provide wellbeing reflexology treatments to patients receiving chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.

HND Complementary Healthcare with Practitioner Status learner Abbie Day said: “Within the University Hospital of Wales we are providing reflexology treatments in the haematology ward and in the palliative care ward. We are able to go in and boost morale for all the patients in the wards.

“The work experience definitely helps for the future – we are able to put it on our CVs as experience and we are able to get a taste of what’s on the outside for us when our courses end.”

The weekly therapy visits have helped Abbie to decide the future career path she would like to take.

“After finishing the course I’d like to go into a clinical practice in a hospital and work with end of life palliative care and hopefully improve patients’ wellbeing,” she explained.

“Cardiff and Vale College is definitely helping me to achieve my ambitions. Being able to progress from a Level 3 course up to a Level 5 in the same campus has been ideal – if the College didn’t offer this course I probably wouldn’t be doing what I am today.”

CAVC HND Complementary Healthcare Lead and Lecturer Catherine Palmer said: “We have had fantastic feedback from the hospital, and they have recently contacted me to see if there is more we can offer.”

Plans are in place for a permanent treatment room at UHW for the students, and to expand provision to wards at other hospitals.

Cardiff and Vale College Principal Sharon James said: “Well done to Catherine and the HND learners. Not only are they learning for their qualifications in a situation that is real and not just realistic, but they are also providing a valuable wellbeing service to people receiving cancer treatments.”