Representatives of the Network for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care in Health met in London (and via Zoom) on 17th May. The following points were agreed for dissemination to Chaplaincy and Religion/Belief Groups:
- We discussed the collection of patient and staff religion/belief data. We wish to highlight the importance of accurate information to ensure the highest quality spiritual care. The example was cited of many Jain patients being recorded as Hindu.
- We continue to monitor vacancies that are advertised for Healthcare Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care posts. We were pleased to see that in Quarter 1 or this year 47% of posts were advertised as open to all religions and beliefs.
- We have continued to enquire of employers who have advertised posts that are restricted by religion or belief to seek to understand why they have done so. Specifically, we are asking whether an Equality Impact Assessment was done as a part of the recruitment process. We have written to 49 employers. 27 have replied so far, 7 of which told us they have done an assessment. We agreed to review how these requests are being made to try to improve the response rate.
- We eagerly await the publication of the new NHS guidelines and plan to hold an extraordinary meeting upon publication to decide how we both support their launch and look at the impact of the new guidelines on our respective faith and belief communities
- We received the name of a new Pagan representative who will be joining us at the next meeting.