Nordoff Robbins attend All Wales Palliative Care Conference

Charlotte Bailey, a music therapist working predominantly in palliative care settings in the North West of England and North Wales, represented Nordoff Robbins at the All Wales Palliative Care Conference on 17th November.

Charlotte presented two case studies of her work at Nightingale House Hospice, Wrexham to demonstrate the benefits of music therapy for patients on a hospice in-patient ward. The case studies illustrated how music can help people whose ability to communicate is substantially impaired by illness, to find their voice and connect through singing to those who are important to them at such a challenging time.

Charlotte shared the story of a woman who was unable to move or speak, whose communication was limited to eye movement and non-verbal vocal sounds. She explained how she listened to those sounds musically, singing a reply to her.

This woman’s vocal sounds then became a way to communicate her sense of humor, her zest for life and to experience a new way of interacting.

A Nurse at Nightingale House, writes, ‘It seems to me a way of taking the illness and medicine out of the foreground and enabling patients and families / friends to share something positive, also reminding us all that often patients are more capable than we realise.’ In music, this patient was able to relate meaningfully both with Charlotte and her loved ones. Music therapy helped this woman to re discover her spontaneity and enabled her to experience autonomy at the end of her life.  

Charlotte writes, ‘it was great to have the opportunity to communicate and share the benefits of Nordoff Robbins music therapy in Adult Palliative Care and for the work to be so well received by other care practitioners working in palliative care across Wales. Both of the ladies whose work I presented are shining examples of how, even in the midst of a terminal illness, music can meet people where they are, enable them to show what they are still able to do and can support them to participate and interact meaningfully, despite the everyday struggles they face. ’

Nordoff Robbins were proud to be part of the conference, and proud to be able to share experiences of how music therapy has changed the lives of people in a palliative care setting.