An update on our work with the Network for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care in Health

It is both an honour and a pleasure to be working as a part of the NPSRCH. We meet three times a year and the work we do as a whole entity is incredibly important when it comes to the provision of spiritual support for Pagans when they are in hospital or any other healthcare setting.

In the latter part of last year, several members of our Hospital Ministry Team attended their training “Exploring Healthcare Chaplaincy” and found it to be extremely useful to their roles. The next set of dates has been filled but I would encourage anyone who has an interest in the topic to get signed up for the next round which will start later in the year. You can find the details here

Below is the five-point summary of our last meeting which was held both in London and on Zoom on 11th January:

  1. We discussed the drafting of the NHS Chaplaincy Guidelines.
    There were questions/concerns about the transparency of the process of redrafting the guidelines after the first consultation and who is involved in the work.
    Given that it has been said that the changes are “substantial”, there was concern that there will not be opportunity to comment on those changes before the guidelines are finalised.
  2. The next “Exploring Healthcare Chaplaincy” course is fully subscribed with 40 attendees booked in.  It starts this month.  Further courses will be provided.
  3. We continue to monitor job vacancies and are encouraged to see the continuation of the trend for more posts to be open to applicants of all religions and beliefs.
  4. We are getting rather concerning results back from our FOI requests to help us understand why posts are restricted by religion or belief.  So far only one of five responses says that an Equality Impact Assessment was done, and that was by a non-NHS employer (a hospice).  All the others say one was not done.
  5. We have recently updated our website to keep contact details up to date for religious and belief contacts.

The team on the network board is a dedicated group of people, all of whom are passionate about chaplaincy and the benefits it has both to the people who have a need of it and the health service within which they work.

I look forward to a long and healthy working relationship with them.

Bright blessings,

Sarah Kerr
Pagan Federation President