The National Federation of Spiritual Healers (NFSH) was created in 1954 and is the largest professional organisation in the UK, with affiliated Healing organisations worldwide. The NFSH was founded on the initiative of one John Britnell. Nationally renowned Healer, Harry Edwards, was recorded as Member No 1 and the Charity’s offices were based at his home at Burrows Lea , near Guildford.
Harry Edwards was to remain President of NFSH until his death in 1976. His vision for the future was that of doctors and Healers working alongside each other, and for Healers to be available across the country. In 2009 it was decided to use The Healing Trust as the working name of NFSH.
The Turning Point
A major turning point came for NFSH in 1960, when Chairman Gordon Turner persuaded the medical authorities to allow Spiritual Healers to give Healing in hospitals. By 1974 the rapid growth of overseas membership inspired the NFSH President to create The World Federation of Healing. NFSH wanted to retain its national identity separately but readily sponsored WFH’s inaugural conference in London.
Until 1976 there had been 2 levels of NFSH membership: Class A (affiliated County based groups) and Class B (individual members registered with NFSH head office). When it was later decided to focus exclusively on individual membership, some of the Class A groups opted to remain intact and formed the The British Alliance of Healing Associations.
Advancement and development
In 1982, the Confederation of Healing Organisations (CHO) was formed linking all the major Healing associations together, including the NFSH. CHO worked to establish Healing as a standard therapy within the NHS as well as private medicine. They introduced a nationally accepted Code of Conduct, a common Training Programme for all Healers, together with Insurance. CHO also contributed to the development and framing of Government policy, which now authorises doctors to delegate patient care to competent Healers, provided the doctor remains in charge.
Some of CHO’s largest membership organisations, including NFSH, left CHO and went on to work together to further develop standards; this led to the formation of UK Healers in 1999, the first internally regulated umbrella complementary therapy body of its kind.
Where are we now?
Since 2008, UKH has been joined by the Healer Professionals Regulatory Working Group (HPRWG), which is about to produce Voluntary Self Regulation (VSR) Standards specifically designed for Healers wishing to work in statutory settings such as hospitals, hospices and surgeries. As a result, any Healer will be able to register with the Department of Health approved Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), which is sponsored by the government and established to ensure the highest possible professional standards for the safety and protection of the public. NFSH, alongside the British Alliance of Healing Organisations (BAHA) has been able to contribute significant expertise towards the development of these standards.
It was in 2009 that NFSH decided to formally launch its new and memorable working name, something that would more effectively describe the focus of its activity and therefore achieve maximum public impact.
The introduction of the new working name was timed to coincide with the organisation’s move to its new home in Northampton. Thanks to a substantial legacy left by Scottish member Clark Findlay, together with a further significant anonymous donation, the charity was enabled to purchase its own Central Office.