Nelson and Colne students provide helping hands to Pendle patients

A patient feels the soothing hands of Nelson and Colne College student Phoebe Young at Pendle Community Hospital
A patient feels the soothing hands of Nelson and Colne College student Phoebe Young at Pendle Community Hospital

Patients rehabilitating on wards at Pendle Community Hospital are receiving a helping hand from enterprising students at nearby Nelson and Colne College.


As part of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s partnership with local colleges, two first-year beauty therapy students have been making weekly visits to Pendle Hospital’s wards where they provide soothing hand massage therapy for the mostly elderly patients.

“This is great news and an excellent example of our how staff and local colleges are thinking outside the box and coming up with ideas which benefit patients,” said ELHT Director of Nursing, Christine Pearson.

“A hand massage provides physical touch, closeness and helps to diminish negative feelings for patients who often spend several weeks in hospital.

Ward staff also benefit from the hand massages which arose from an idea by East Lancashire Hospitals’ Work Based Education and Wellness teams.

Nelson and Colne College Level 2 Beauty student Phoebe Young (16) said: “I really enjoyed the work placement opportunity with ELHT, and I saw it as a chance to gain experience and use the massage skills I am learning on my course. It was a great feeling knowing that the massages brought smiles to people’s faces, and it was lovely hearing the comments afterwards.”

In addition, the college students also value the support and kindness of hospital staff, and thoroughly enjoy the experience.

ELHT Work Based Partnership Lead Denise Owen said: “Patients tell us that hand massage helps them forget about their health problems and feel better."

Nelson and Colne College Vice Principal Alison Rushton said: “Work placements are extremely valuable to students and I’m delighted that Phoebe and others have been able to take advantage of this innovative initiative. It’s heart-warming to hear how grateful patients have been for this experience too, and we are always exploring new ways to support ELHT in whatever way we can.”

To give more NCC students the chance to improve their therapy skills, two different students began visiting patients at the start of December with the hand massages set to continue through the winter.

“It’s an excellent way to release tension and relax, which is why more and more hospitals now use massages to help patients recover following illness.”