MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

I was notified via Twitter (thank you John) that the UK ‘United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’ is looking to employ a spiritual healer or reiki therapist. For those who find this perhaps too hard to believe, I have copied a few excerpts from the advertisement:

Employer:

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Department:
Spiritual Healer / Reiki Therapist
Location:
Lincoln County Hospital, Lincoln
Salary:
£21,892 – £24,157 per annum pro rata

An exciting opportunity has arisen for an Spiritual Healer / Reiki Therapist to join our friendly and energetic team on Waddington Unit. We are looking for a committed, enthusiastic and a self-motivated therapist to join our well established team.

Waddington Unit is a 26 bedded acute Haematology and Oncology ward that care for male and female patients. The ward has a high acuity, fast paced clinical admissions setting that cares for acutely unwell patients as a result of haematological and oncological conditions such as spinal cord compression and neutropenic sepsis as well as facilitating the delivery of chemotherapy.

We are passionate about improving patient experience and enhancing patients stay in hospital.

We are pleased to be working with The Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust to offer this exciting opportunity on Waddington Unit.

If you are qualified and experienced as a Spiritual Healer /Reiki Therapist with 1 year or more of experience. To have completed the Healing In Hospital course, delivered by Angie Buxton-King and would like this opportunity to join this forward thinking team then please contact the co-ordinator for more information and an informal visit…

… ULHT is one of the largest hospital trusts in the country providing a comprehensive range of hospital based medical, surgical, paediatric, obstetric and gynaecological services to over 800,000 people across the county of Lincolnshire. The Trust’s core values are:

– Patient Centred
– Safety
– Compassion
– Respect and
– Excellence

__________

END OF QUOTE

The Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust supports cancer patients and their families by providing funds to employ Complementary Therapists (Healers) in the NHS and Hospices. And Angie Buxton-King is a Reiki Master/ Teacher, Spiritual Healer, Author and Public Speaker. She also tells us this about her:

I am a fully qualified tutor of adults in the life learning sector and a Director/Trustee of our charity The Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust ( SBSHT).

Since 2004 following the publication of my first book The NHS Healer; I have been invited to speak at many medical and holistic conferences. I am a past chair of The Doctor Healer Network and a former council member of The College of Medicine representing complementary therapies. Along with my husband Graham we created Energy Healing Training and Reiki Training that complies with National Occupational Standards. We have also created our unique ‘Healing in Hospitals & Hospices Training’ and ‘Delivering Complementary Therapy in a Statutory Setting Training’ to give healers and complementary therapists the necessary skills to work safely and competently in a more formal setting. I was employed by University College London Hospital (UCLH) as a Spiritual Healer to deliver healing to cancer patients as part of an integrated, holistic package of care for 12 years.

David Colquhoun published an excellent comment at the time about the UCLH work. All I want to add here is a list of suggestions to the ‘United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’ regarding posts they might consider advertising in the future:

  • ACUPUNCTURIST to run the department of anaesthesiology.
  • FLYING CARPET MANAGER to relieve the over-worked Lincolnshire ambulance service.
  • EXORCIST to deal with whistle blowers of all types.
  • ALCHEMIST to turn lead into gold whenever the Trust runs into financial difficulties.
  • HOMEOPATH to run the hospital pharmacy.
  • QUANTUM PHYSICIST to maintain the ventilators of the IC unit.
  • VIRTUAL SURGEON to head the department of surgery.
  • VAMPIRE to organise the blood donation activities.
  • DISCIPLE OF ANDREW WAKEFIELD to coordinate the Trust’s vaccination service.
  • PRO-LIFE ACTIVIST to head the abortion service.
  • SCIENTOLOGIST to run the spiritual well-being initiative.
  • PSEUDOSCIENTIST to head the clinical trials unit.
  • CAOS THEORIST to oversee the accounts.
  • ELEPHANT to work in the porcelain shop.

In the interest of improving public health in Lincolnshire, I invite my readers to suggest further posts which might contribute profitably to the success of the ‘United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust’.

35 Responses to United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is looking to employ a Spiritual Healer / Reiki Therapist

  • Cattle Farmer

    Someone needs to oversee all the bullshit.

  • It’s disgusting.

    £24,000 to swan around a hospital doing nothing beyond placebo. I wonder what Performance Indicators or achievement targets will be in place to measure the effectiveness of the person who gets the post.

    I see that a charity is trying to raise £26,700 to buy a UVB Phototherapy Cabinet for dermatology provision at Wythenshawe Hospital. https://mftcharity.org.uk/project/ubv-cabinet-for-phototherapy/#!
    Such a machine can transform quality of life for people (I speak from experience). Its results are substantive and measurable, and the machine will last for many years.

    I suggest therefore that the £24,000 should be donated towards this or a similar purchase, rather than paying a non-medically qualified mountebank to sail around a hospital wasting time and money.

    • Those who criticise Reiki Healing and its promotion in the NHS are totally ignoramus about the subject. Reiki has clinically proven effectiveness and promote relaxation response and has been practised by millions around the world. Here Reiki in the Hospital is supportive and complementary, which is welcomed my many patients. There could be some performance indicators or reviews based on qualitative feed back questionnaire etc. Reiki is not against Modern Medicine and is complementary in a hospital setting. Science is of course good, but scientism and blind belief in science is not. Reiki and such non invasive therapies need to be promoted when there is nothing modern medicine can offer for the relief or cure of any health condition rather than letting them die desperately.

      • this is from my recent book (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alternative-Medicine-Critical-Assessment-Modalities-ebook/dp/B07TS1QXX6/ref=sr_1_5):
        Reiki is a form of paranormal or energy healing popularised by Japanese Mikao Usui (1865-1926). Rei means universal spirit (sometimes thought of as a supreme being) and ki is the assumed universal life energy.
        1. Reiki is based on the assumptions of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the existence of ‘chi’, the life-force that determines our health.
        2. Reiki practitioners believe that, with their hands-on healing method, they can transfer ‘healing energy’ to a patient which, in turn, stimulates the self-healing properties of the body. They assume that the therapeutic effects of this technique are obtained from a ‘universal life energy’ that provides strength, harmony, and balance to the body and mind.
        3. There is no scientific basis for such notions, and reiki is therefore not plausible.
        4. Reiki is used for a number of conditions, including the relief of stress, tension and pain.
        5. There have been several clinical trials testing the effectiveness of reiki. Unfortunately, their methodological quality is usually poor.
        6. A systematic review summarising this evidence concluded that the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. Therefore, the value of reiki remains unproven. And a Cochrane review found that there is insufficient evidence to say whether or not Reiki is useful for people over 16 years of age with anxiety or depression or both.
        7. Reiki appears to be generally safe, and serious adverse effects have not been reported. Some practitioners advise caution about using reiki in people with psychiatric illnesses because of the risk of bringing out underlying psychopathology.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=lee+pittler+ernst%2C+reikiv
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25835541

      • “Reiki and such non invasive therapies need to be promoted when there is nothing modern medicine can offer for the relief or cure of any health condition rather than letting them die desperately.”
        modern medicine always has more to offer than quacks.

      • @mathews: clearly you are the ignoramus, everyone that knows anything about spiritual well being knows that Scientology does everything Reiki does and infinitely more. AND since Scientology combines Science WITH ology and uses cutting edge E-meters it can demonstrate exact changes in the operating thetan and the spiritual health of the individual. Come on man learn the facts before you make embarrassing comments.

    • In fairness, the post is advertised as 15 hours part time, so it would only be costing about £8000. Still a dangerous waste of money.

  • It’s truly appalling that this kind of nonsense is being included on the NHS in some trusts.

    I managed to get an initial response from the CEO of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust on twitter: https://twitter.com/MorganCEO/status/1291660646975713280?s=20. He has responded to my point about funding to make it clear that it doesn’t use NHS funds but, so far, there has been no response to my follow up about the appropriateness of a job that provides such a nonsensical therapy.

    • I have written to Mrs. Matthews who is the senior nurse to whom applications should be directed.

      I have pointed out that the claim in the ULH advertisement that the post will be ‘fully funded’ by the charity bears further examination.

      Will the ‘full funding’ include an element for the fixed costs (the clinic building/facilities), the nursing and reception staff needed, the utilities (heat and electricity)?
      If not the, claim is false.
      As is everything else about Reiki.

      And if these powerful healing energies generated by the practitioners have any effect at all on the cells of a human body, then, if just slightly misplaced, might they cause harm? What precautions will be taken against that?

      And given that Reiki 2 practitioners can transmit their energy over substantial distances, what precautions will there be to protect the rest of us?

      Finally, I ask: has this innovative treatment proposed for ULH been before the hospital’s ethics committee?
      With what evidence placed before it?
      If not, why not?

      All innovations have to be passed by the Ethics Committee – who will no doubt consider the harm done by inveigling doctors and nurses into a conspiracy to set aside evidence-based practice and fool patients these ‘energies’ can have any effect – beyond placebo (which probably does have a short term effect).

      Are patients asked to give informed consent to being exposed to these energies, with the knowledge that informed medical and scientific opinion is that they are placebos and nothing more?
      If not, that is unethical.

      • @Richard Rawlins

        Sounds good. I will be interested to hear what response you get

        • A similar post was advertised at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Epping, in 2015.
          I wrote to the CEO (as, no doubt, did others).
          The post was dropped.

          I have asked whether fixed costs of the ULH post are included. (NHS funds for the clinic, nursing and admin staff, heat, light, electricity [unless reiki practitioners generate their own!]).

          If not – ULH, and Mr. Morgan are being misleading.

          I will advise if I receive a reply to my initial inquiry, but if not, I will write to Andrew Morgan, CEO ULH NHST.
          I will ask if he has made a mistake he wishes to correct.
          In the absence of an explanation, I will express my concern that an NHS manager should seek to mislead patients, and the public, by claiming this post is ‘fully funded’ – when it is not.

  • What is Healing?

    Living beings have an innate ability to achieve a perfect state of balance in body, mind & spirit. The purpose of spiritual healing is to enhance, empower and assist this ability so that the individual may find their own point of balance. The healer acts as the channel for the healing energies in order to help bring this about.
    Healing may be given for any illness, stress or injury as a complementary therapy without any side effects. No specific religious or spiritual beliefs are required. Similarly, healing recognises no distinction of race, class, sex or religion.
    Healing is not a magic wand that can make all well. It is a process that involves your commitment and although the healer will seek to work with you, healing cannot be imposed by the healer. A willingness to change is the fundamental requirement in the healing process. No guarantee can or will be made about the outcome of healing.

    Who says so? Annie Buxton-King does.
    https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/events/leader/id/11970/angie-buxton-king

    Her charity, The Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust, will fund the placement within United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust. To get the job you have to have completed the Healing in Hospital course run by Annie, cost £175 in person or £160 by distant learning. A worthy investment if it can secure employment within a hospital – albeit in our particularly testing times.

    “The distant training is certified by The Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust whose work is well established in the UK and has funded 36 healers to work within the NHS or a hospice to date.”

    “All profits from this course will support our charities continuing work of funding healers to work within Hospitals and Hospices”.

    http://www.cancertherapies.org.uk/Healing-in-Hospitals-and-Hospices-Training
    https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/vacancy/916137683

    • And Mrs. Buxton-King trains practitioners to transmit energy over substantial distances.
      I imagine she is up for a Nobel Prize any time now – as soon as she publishes the evidence (which she must surely have), that she can generate a fifth form of energy.

      Or, she could be wrong – and she simply imagines she has these powers and can transmit energy.
      Or, she could know perfectly well she cannot, but is a quack who makes false claims to take advantage of gullible and vulnerable patients, and hospital authorities – and a fraud who seeks to make money from persuading others she can.
      Or she is deluded and very confused.
      Or all the above.

      “Will nobody rid us of this turbulent chancer?” As Henry II might have said.
      Will no authority inquire formally into just what ULH NHS Trust thinks it’s up to, promoting these energies to be used on NHS patients (probably who have not given informed consent)?

      Mrs. Buxton-King was a Council member of the College of Medicine and Integrated Health.
      Says it all.

      • I apologise for inadvertently misnaming Angie Buxton-King. She is a woman on a mission. My concern is how she can buy her way into the NHS, driven as she appears to be by her batty belief system.

        Her financial model is to sell courses in spiritualistic/psychic “healing” and associated courses relating to employment of “healers” within the NHS, and then facilitate the employment of “qualified” healers within the NHS by paying their salaries from a charity set up for that purpose.

        Her courses result in people qualified in pure undiluted nonsense, more properly described as religion than medicine. Yet there they are working in the NHS.

        However daft I may consider other people’s beliefs, I accept that they have the right to believe and express them as long as they are not forced upon others.

        I do wonder how “healers” e.g. Reiki, operate within NHS hospitals. Do they fall within the ambit of serving particular religious needs? Are they explicitly offering spiritualistic/psychic healing to those who believe and wish to receive such “healing”? If not then what?

        https://www.nhsemployers.org/retention-and-staff-experience/diversity-and-inclusion/policy-and-guidance/religion/chaplaincy-and-the-nhs-staff-experience

  • Quite aside from everything else this employment opportunity serves to legitimise non evidenced based medicine . Those patients who don’t know any better will be beguiled and thus even more vunnerable to bogus treatment provided outside of the nhs by the unscrupulous who seek to piggy back real medicine.

  • Lets work with the assumption that ‘spiritual healing’ is fake. This sounds like an extremely cheap way to evoke the placebo effect.

  • I’m so relieved to see this post & comments. compandalt helpfully directed me over here from Twitter. I live in Lincolnshire, so this is at my local cancer unit and it’s not the first time I’ve encountered reiki healers getting cosy with the local NHS.

    The ULH CEO, Andrew Morgan, has engaged with critics on Twitter but is maintaining that reiki will be part of their wellness complementary team and it’s all OK because the post is charity funded. He’s not a practitioner, so perhaps genuinely does not understand the placebo effect. Andrew Morgan reckons they are not claiming this person will treat or cure cancer, but that’s not what the funders believe. So it’s probably worth going through all the Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust website and highlighting how many times they say ‘heal’ and ‘treat’. It’s a bit of a smoking gun they have ‘Healing’ in their name, their website is cancertherapies.org.uk and this job role was originally for a ‘Spiritual healer – Reiki healer’ til they changed it on 8/8/2020 to remove refs to healing! Note that they are saying this role is complementary to conventional cancer treatment, rather than an alternative. Personally I don’t think this sort of non-evidenced based nonsense should be endorsed by the NHS

    Edzard: Angie Buxton-Smith who is behind this charity says she helped write the Skills for Health National Occupational Standard for reiki, one of the qualifications this post recipient is required to have. I was horrified that Skills for Health recognises reiki and lists this qualification: https://tools.skillsforhealth.org.uk/competence/show/html/id/2809/
    Do you have any influence to get this investigated? Surely they shouldn’t recognise quackery in this way. It gives reiki legitimacy.

    The next ULH Trust Board meeting is on 1st Sept and any member of the public can send in a question to jayne.warner@ulh.nhs.uk I’ve asked ‘What is ULHT’s Board’s position on employing alternative/complementary healers whose practice is not evidence-based and not endorsed by NICE?’ The Board meeting will be available online. All info here: https://www.ulh.nhs.uk/about/board-meetings/ Anyone up for emailing all the Board members to complain about this role? The format of email addresses seems to be firstname.lastname@ulh.nhs.uk

    I’ve also sent in an FOI request, tho that system is basically suspended because of Covid. Here’s what I asked: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/recruitment_of_a_reiki_healer

    It may well be worth contacting the ULH oncologists with all of this. There’s a list of them here: https://www.ulh.nhs.uk/services/cancer-services/ I can’t think that the doctors want a reiki healer training their colleagues or hearing from the reiki therapist in their multi-disciplinary team meetings (which is going to happen according to job blurb).

    A bit of local context. ULH is rated as ‘Requires Improvement’ by CQC. ULH struggles to recruit doctors and other highly skilled staff because many people perceive the county to be in the middle of nowhere and a bit behind.The area has challenging geography to provide healthcare to, resulting in financial & logistical problems, tho cancer treatments are only available at ULH in this one unit, in Lincoln. ULH is commissioned by the newly (re-)merged NHS Lincolnshire CCG who are @NHSLincsCCG. Whoever commissions oncology & haematology (check old CCG minutes) will have been based in Lincolnshire East CCG. They might be a useful ally.

    I’ve been pointed in the direction of the Senior Chaplain at ULH as someone who might not like the mention of spiritual healing. Will contact him on Monday, cos their generic email address bounced back.

    Anyone in the Labour Party or trade unions? Karen Lees is an A&E nurse at the hospital involved (Lincoln County Hospital) and recently served as Labour MP for Lincoln. She might not like quack therapists in her hospital.

    Thanks to all who get involved trying to boot this nonsense out of our NHS.

    Anne-Marie/ @@A_MGregory on Twitter

    • You are going to ask the senior chaplain for help? What is the difference between the chaplain paid 40K a year asking Jesus for healing and a practitioner paid 24K a year using a Reiki symbol to ask for healing? Reiki is a cheaper option. Get rid of the chaplain I say and save 16K a year.

      • The difference is that the role of chaplains within the NHS is:

        “People who are ill or who have a family member who is ill may have spiritual or emotional needs. As a chaplain, you’ll help them deal with the experiences of life and death, illness and injury in the context of a faith or belief system. You’ll also support the spiritual needs of staff.”

        from https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/wider-healthcare-team/roles-wider-healthcare-team/corporate-services/chaplain

        Doesn’t say anything about asking Jesus (or any other deity) for healing.

        • Absolutely. @Dendra, I’m atheist myself but find mainstream Christians can be helpful allies.

          • Moi aussi , but in my practice I asked patients/relatives, when indicated, if they would like to see a chaplain.
            Some did.
            As a surgeon, it was my job to care, not convert.
            (Though as a junior, I did have one devout senior consultant arrange an exorcism for one patient he believed to be engaged with the devil. Strictly unethical).

            I found the pastoral support of chaplains of all faiths helpful in a number of cases.
            So too, padres in the Royal Navy (I was a Surgeon-Lieutenant Commander RNR).
            That experience does not inhibit my contibutions to debates in other circumstances.

  • Coverage in the national press, albeit the Daily Mail:
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8611519/NHS-advertises-24-000-Reiki-Therapist-provide-spiritual-healing-cancer-patients.html

    Angie Buxton-King, whose charity is funding their post, is apparently offering the reiki in hospitals course through the College of Psychic Studies. They offer a long list of hilariously woo courses…
    https://www.collegeofpsychicstudies.co.uk/courses

  • Andrew Morgan Esq.
    CEO, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust
    Care of: communications@ulh.nhs.uk
    13th August 2020

    Dear Mr Morgan,

    Appointment to ULH NHS Trust of a Reiki Therapist.

    I am a member of Council of the BMA, but write in a personal capacity wishing to know more about the post for a Reiki practitioner at ULH as I wish to brief the BMA Board of Science.

    I wrote to Mrs Polly Johnson six days ago, as she is the staff member responsible for this recruitment, but she has not answered.

    I would be grateful if you would answer my questions at your earliest opportunity as you are clearly implicated.

    I understand that you have Tweeted that this post “is fully funded by a charity”, but that seems not to be the case, and you might be misleading patients and the public, in addition to misusing your Trust’s funds.
    I inquire:

    • Although ‘fully funded’ – do the charitable funds cover the fixed costs of running a clinic – ground rent, room hire, utilities, other staff such as nurses, receptionists, indemnity for accidents/incidents?
    • Why has this post not been open to any ‘reiki practitioner/therapist’, but rather is open exclusively to those trained by a particular named therapist?
    • What evidence do you have that reiki therapists trained by this particular therapist are any more effective than those trained by any other? Or indeed – not trained at all?
    • Is there not a conflict of interest in making this contingency?
    • Given the Job purpose is stated to be: “to deliver Reiki/Energy Healing to patients with cancer”, what evidence do you have that any healing occurs as a result of such therapies?
    • If you have no plausible evidence, on what basis was the decision made to employ a practitioner for the purpose? Who was responsible for that decision?
    • Does not such a decision fly in the face of your Trust’s policies for excellence and to offer patients care and treatment based on evidence?
    (Of course, I set aside the undoubted benefits from having the attention of an empathic practitioner, but such does not constitute ‘healing’.)
    • Given the energies must be very powerful if they are to have any effect, what precautions will be taken to ensure that a slightly misplaced hand position does not harm the patient?
    • Given Reiki therapists of Grade 2 can transmit energy over substantial distances, what precautions will be taken to ensure no harm befalls other persons in the Unit, or Lincolnshire?
    • Has the proposal to employ a person to offer this innovative treatment been approved by ULH ethics committee (as is required under NHS regulations)?
    • If not, why not?
    • If so, what evidence of benefit from these energies was provided to the committee?
    • Do you think it is ethical to suggest to patients that they might benefit from any energies generated by a Reiki practitioner, and how do you explain these energies to them?
    • Please may I have a copy of the relevant ‘consent to treatment’ form?

    I would be most grateful for any clarification you can offer.

    Yours sincerely,

    Richard Rawlins MB BS MBA FRCS

    • Wham! Bravo again. “They do not like it up ’em, Cap’n Mainwaring!”

    • Thank you, Richard, for writing this letter. I was hoping they’d have second thoughts, but the job ad is still up. Hopefully your involvement will make them consider this more carefully.

  • Anne-Marie (and anyone else so minded),

    Please contact me off-blog at: richardrawlins2@gmail.com

    in order to further the cause of truth, honour, righteousness and human understanding.

    (The ULH medical director has acknowledged receipt of my email which was copied to him, but has yet to respond definatively.)

    • Will do so, Richard.
      The job ad is still up & closes tomorrow. Their Board meeting is on Tues 1st Sept, so anyone else wanting to submit a public question about the ‘charity funded reiki’ job please do so by Monday to jayne.warner@ulh.nhs.uk

  • To Mrs Jayne Warner, Chair of the Board, ULH NHS Trust. 19.08.20.

    Question to the Board

    I am a registered medical practitioner and member of BMA Council, but write in a personal capacity as I wish to brief the BMA’s Board of Science.

    Re: Public advertisement for a ‘Reiki therapist’ to be employed by ULH NHS Trust – job reference 357-LN-358-20.

    As a member of the public, I am only allowed one question, though this post raises a number of issues. The question I ask is at the conclusion of this letter, but for context, the Board might like to consider others:

    1. The advertisement states the post is “fully funded by a charity, not by HLH NHST.”

    But is this true or is it misleading? Are the fixed costs of buildings, facilities, associated reception and nursing staff, utilities funded by the charity, or by ULH NHST?

    2. The post is not open to all Reiki therapists, but only to those who “have completed the Healing in Hospital course delivered by Angi Buxton-King.”

    But why only therapists who have studied with Mrs Buxton-King? Why not other therapists? Or practitioners who have not ‘qualified’ at all?

    Is there a conflict of interest?

    3. In his welcome letter to all job applicants, Mr Andrew Morgan, CEO, ULH NHST, states ULH vision to be: “excellence in rural healthcare.“ He does not define this term, but the US Institute of Medicine defines healthcare quality as “the extent to which health services provided to individuals and patient populations improve desired health outcomes…”; a BMJ editorial, Learning from Excellence in Healthcare, stated ‘safety’ was a key component: (http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/archdischild-2015-310021); and NICE requires service standards to be evidence-based.

    I submit that there is no evidence the energy generated by Reiki therapists provides any benefit to any patient whatsoever; if a Reiki therapist is capable of generating beneficial energies, they might also cause harm and be un-safe; the introduction of such therapies to ULH NHST is innovative and should have been approved by the Trust’s Ethics Committee; evidence of both the benefit and harm caused by these energies should have been available to the Trust. Has it been?

    4. Patients must give fully informed consent to be exposed to these energies. Will patients give fully informed consent? By what means will they be protected from any effects of therapist generated energies which might hasten their demise? Will the treatment suite have Bio-hazard markers?

    5. Has a cost-benefit analysis been carried out? If not, why not?

    (Research on the death rate of patients receiving Reiki – comparing predicted outcomes for those in receipt of therapies with those not receiving energy treatment.)

    I understand members of the public may only place one question to the Board – so my question is:

    ‘Given ULHNHST’s declaration in respect of clinical effectiveness that: “All care needs to reflect clinical best practice and meet national guidelines to ensure that patients get the right treatment at the right time, every time” – please may I have sight of any and all evidence that is in the hands of ULH NHST’s CEO; the Medical Director and/or the Trust’s Ethics Committee, and in any patient consent literature – as to any benefit or harm caused by energies generated by Reiki therapists, and which are expected to benefit patients if applied at ULH NHST by an appointee to this advertised post?’

    The corollary (which is not a question) is – “If I cannot be provided with this evidence, why not?”

    I would be grateful for your further guidance. As will the Trust’s patients and the populace it serves.”

    CC Dr Neill Hepburn, Medical Director. Mr Andrew Morgan CEO; Mr Karl McCartney MP

  • Just dialled in to the start of the ULH Board Meeting that took questions from the public. Richard Rawlins’ qu about this reiki post was answered, mine wasn’t (and wasn’t acknowledged when I emailed it). Funnily the Board referred to all 3 public qu on assorted topics as ‘excellent’, while not agreeing to the concerns expressed in them.

    The Medical Director, Neil Hepburn, read out a prepared response stating that the ‘paradigm of evidence based medicine’ wasn’t the issue here as reiki will be used as a complementary medicine alongside conventional medicine, to ‘alleviate stress and side effects’. They I think quoted the UCL paper that the ‘Sam Buxton Sunflower Healing Trust’ as evidence of the benefits of reiki.Quoted House of Lords saying something about reiki being a group 2 treatment ‘giving help and comfort when used in a complementary sense’

    * He said it’s part of the range of other offers by ULH to improve wellbeing, including hairdressing, massages and music.

    * Consent to treatment will be through the normal route.

    Chief Exec Andrew Morgan then joined in to say…

    * It’s a Band 4 post and they wouldn’t want to deprive patients of this charity-funded offer.

    * Said the media coverage of this contained strong pro and against views (didn’t acknowledge most coverage was concern).

    * Didn’t address at all the idea of ‘energy’ healing, and this being sheer quackery.

    So not a very satisfying answer.

    (Perhaps worth noting that the Medical Director has resigned and is filling in until a replacement has been appointed.)

    • They didn’t address Dr Rawlins’ question about possible adverse effects on others, of this powerful ‘energy’. Maybe a tacit admission that they don’t believe such energy exists. In which case, this surely doesn’t stack up at all:
      “* He said it’s part of the range of other offers by ULH to improve wellbeing, including hairdressing, massages and music.”

      Hairdressing, massages and music are substantive, observable processes. When I went to the care home see my aunt who had dementia, she was beautifully coiffured, and that has to be a good thing, even if it doesn’t alter the course of a disease process. Getting the hair done nicely is bound to make a patient feel a little more positive. Massage is pleasant and relaxing, a real ‘feelgood’ thing (as long as a health condition doesn’t rule it out). Music can be wonderfully soothing and uplifting.

      Hairdressing, massage and music can all be observed taking place, using normal human senses – even if the results are not so readily quantifiable. Consent to treatment by a hairdresser, masseur/masseusse or to listening to music, are easy to understand for the patient. What is being consented to with the Reiki ‘therapist’ though? No process can be observed to take place, except the presence of the ‘therapist’ – and in some Reiki modalities, not even that.

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