Hospital trust expands spiritual care department

New group with gifts 1 - web

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has expanded its spiritual care department to create a more diverse service for patients, visitors and staff.

The team now includes Muslim, Hindu and Humanist chaplains – alongside Christian chaplains – to support those within the hospital community who provide spiritual, religious and pastoral care for people with faith-specific, multi-faith or non-religious beliefs. 

This includes events such as prayers, meditation, sacraments and emergency baptisms as well as generic emotional, psychological and spiritual support to those who experience trauma, ill-health, grief and sadness.

Members of the team are also available on-call 24 hours a day for urgent requests – many of which involve end-of-life care or emergency rites.

Hospital chaplains are trained and accredited by The College of Health Care Chaplains and regulated by the UK Board for Healthcare Chaplaincy.

“While chaplains from a variety of faith backgrounds are now more familiar within the NHS, humanist or non-religious NHS pastoral carers are a new development in the UK,” said Reverend Canon Karen Mackinnon, head of spiritual care at UHS.

“This move sees the trust embracing the changing face of spirituality, faith and beliefs in our society by providing a broad and comprehensive spiritual care support system for all service-users.”

The new appointments – Imam Mohammed Sirajul Islam (Muslim assistant chaplain), Priti Dave (Hindu assistant chaplain), Paul Noble (Humanist assistant chaplain) and Revd Sandra Tauson (Christian chaplain) – were announced at a celebration service held in September.

Canon Mackinnon added: “Not only do these appointments enrich the trust’s chaplaincy department but, more importantly, they enable our patients, carers and hospital staff to access the spiritual, religious and pastoral support of their choice.

“It’s an exciting time as we work together, learning from one another, respecting and valuing one another in our different beliefs and practices, but united in bringing the very best support to those in our care.”

Posted on Friday 6 October 2017