Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy

Guidance on Spiritual Care inthe NHS in Scotland

14. Recommendations

1. To commend Health Boards on Work done to implement HDL 2002 76 and affirm the understanding that spiritual care is a necessary and integral part of the whole person care offered by the NHS in Scotland.

2. To support inter professional educational initiatives to enable a wider understanding of the context and meaning of spiritual care and its relationship to health among all healthcare staff.

3. To promote research which broadens and enlightens an evidence base for the efficacy of spiritual and religious care in health

4. To encourage education on equality legislation and promote a service which delivers spiritual care equitably to people of any or no declared faith community or belief group.

5. To retain a senior lead manager for spiritual care in each health board.

6. To update Spiritual Care Policies in light of local need and national developments.

7. To review the role and composition of Spiritual Care Committees to ensure that the primary function, of engaging with local faith communities/belief groups and enabling dialogue between healthcare staff, spiritual care providers and community groups, continues and develops in the best way for each Board.

8. To encourage professionals within the spiritual care team to maintain their good standing with the faith community or belief group in which they have roots, to play a meaningful part in chaplaincy professional associations and to work harmoniously with those of the wide variety of faith and belief groups within Scottish society.

9. To continue the work of Healthcare Chaplaincy Training through NHS Education for Scotland and. This to include study days, conferences and the development of relevant research, courses and qualifications for spiritual care staff, volunteers and other interested staff.

10. To recommend the use of Standards for NHSScotland Chaplaincy Services as the audit tool for the review of the spiritual care service in each health Board.

11. To recommend the use of business plans, cost benefit analysis and all relevant factors i.e. not only the size of the unit or number of beds, when determining spiritual care staff provision.

12. To recommend that Boards employ Spiritual Care Staff for their qualifications and pastoral abilities who are trained to highest standard. It is envisaged that the new Certificate in Healthcare Chaplaincy, once established, and functioning, (expected from September 2009) or equivalent will become a requirement for all new appointments (of significant hours) either to have, or be committed to obtaining, as a condition of appointment. Such staff are expected to work with the whole health care community, patients, carers and staff, providing spiritual care for all and either providing or facilitating the appropriate religious care for those requiring it.

13. To make necessary arrangements with any group, not represented as NHS employees on the spiritual care team and where a needs analysis justifies provision on a denominational or single faith basis. Any working within such an arrangement would require the direct authorisation of their faith/belief community. A contract would require to be put in place and such people would be accountable within the NHS to the head of department.

14. To use a system of assessors in the employment of whole time chaplains.

15. To develop, as far as is possible and feasible in each Board, a system of honorary chaplains or local faith/belief group representatives who would be called on to respond to specific faith community/ belief group religious or spiritual need.

16. To encourage departmental and individual spiritual care staff formation with continuous professional development, the use of reflective practice and pastoral supervision.

17. To make use of the Capability and Competency Framework in professional and personal development in relation to the Knowledge and Skills Framework.

18. To maintain links with and continue the work of the Spiritual Care Development Committee as a national forum for discussion among faith communities, belief groups, healthcare staff, chaplaincy associations, the Scottish Government Dept of Health and Well-being, the Equalities Unit of NHS Health and the Healthcare Chaplaincy Training and Development Unit.

19. To develop new ways of providing spiritual care to health service users in community settings.

20. To seek ways of obtaining informed consent to spiritual care both at time of admission and during a patient's time of treatment.

21. To ensure adequate human, financial, accommodation and support resources terms for a spiritual care/chaplaincy service are consistent with a 24/7 basis throughout the year. Where this level of service is not currently provided an action plan showing how and when this will be achieved should be developed.

22. To continue the development of professional and research documents, journals and activities, both within Scotland and where possible in a UK context, which will enable advancement towards self or national regulated/ registered health profession status.

23. To encourage co operation with other health professionals and to work as members of the multi professional healthcare team whenever possible.

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