Spa industry defends claims that not enough is being done to welcome cancer patients
Industry professionals have spoken out following an ITV News story that called for spas to change their policy on not treating cancer patients.
The story was based around a complaint from a client (Jo Mackie) who is reportedly suing Center Parcs after being told she couldn’t receive certain treatments at one of its spas because she had previously been treated for cancer.
Center Parcs was in fact one of the frontrunners in the movement to make spas more accessible to people who are, or have previously, suffered with cancer. The group began work on a wellness menu in early 2015, collaborating initially with Wellness for Cancer then with Made for Life.
A spokesperson for Center Parcs told Professional Beauty, "We were so sorry to hear of Jo’s experience last year. At the time of her visit, we were actually in the last phase of our wellness training journey which started in 2015. As of January this year, we now have more than 30 therapists at each spa trained with Made for Life. Alongside this we have also invested in Spiezia Organics Body and Skincare. which works in perfect synergy. Whilst it’s early days, we have had great feedback from our guests so far and will continue to build on our offering.”
Huge strides have been made in the UK in recent years, with brands including Voya, Lava Shells, Germaine de Capuccini and Espa all now offering specialist training to treat clients with cancer, and big-name spas such as The Spa at The Midland, The Spa at Ramside and Bedford Lodge all having trained to be able to provide therapies to cancer suffereres. However, there is still work to be done to make more treatment sites, in particular smaller salons, accessible to all.
Jennifer Young, who also trains therapists to treat cancer sufferers via her programme Beauty Despite Cancer and accompanying skincare line Defiant Beauty, added, “All of those affected by cancer should be welcomed. I know that the industry is changing and more and more professionals are gaining the qualifications needed to work anyone who has received a cancer diagnosis.
“I hope that, in the face of the media interest, and the fear of being sued for acting in exactly the way we have been taught to behave, we all remember that we can welcome those living with an beyond cancer……..if and only if, one has achieved the appropriate level of specialist qualification.”