The SACH AGM was held on
Monday 24 October 2005
at the Conference Centre,
Stirling Royal Infirmary.
Rev Derek Brown (President)
Some of you may know that I serve as a crew member on the local inshore lifeboat in Dornoch. While it is both physically and mentally demanding it also has many benefits-not least that it's as far removed as I can think from the clinical environment of a hospital.
I've learned new skills: how to handle a power boat in rough seas; how to recover casualties; how to use a radio. I struggle with some of them- I still can't tell my sheepshank from my elbow!
Taking on new challenges can leave you both exhausted and exhilarated. As chaplaincy develops and meets new challenges, which of those feelings will prevail?
The primary function of SACH is to represent the interests of members. This we do in a formal way through our participation in the various bodies that have an interest in chaplaincy, of which more in a moment. We also provide support in less formal channels to individual chaplains or departments and it is important to highlight this aspect of our function as it has proved to be of great assistance in recent times.
We continue to work very closely with both the College of Healthcare Chaplains and the Association of Hospice and Palliative Care Chaplains most notably on the issue of Registration and through the Chaplaincy Academic and Accreditation Board. I also met with the Presidents of the College and AHPCC in Edinburgh last month when we talked about issues of common interest.
The Chaplaincy Academic and Accreditation Board was set up as an advisory body to the professional organisations. It has a specific remit looking at, for example, the knowledge and skills required to become a chaplain and accrediting courses which can be part of CPD. CAAB was funded by the three professional bodies but as time has evolved it has become closer to being self-financing mainly through levying fees for accrediting courses.
We are also represented on two bodies whose roles compliment each other, the ACTS Chaplaincy committee and the Spiritual Care Development Committee which provides NHS Scotland with a multi faith perspective on spiritual care matters.
We also have input to the advisory group which assists the Training and Development Unit in its work and it is very important that there should be a cross fertilization of ideas and input from serving chaplains into the training arena. So keep the ideas coming!
SACH continues to support the European Network of Healthcare Chaplains and we well represented at the latest consultation in Lisbon in June. It has been reported on elsewhere, but it was particularly good to be Scottish at that point as the Palliative Care standards were debated and Scotland's example was held up as something to aspire to by other Europeans.
It has been noted that the number of members has been on the wane over the past year or so. There are a number of reasons for this. In some areas part time chaplaincies have been amalgamated into whole time posts and as members retire or move on from their posts, particularly part time ones, and their successors are not always aware of the existence of professional organisations.
The Executive decided that we should write to all hospital chaplains, excluding those we knew to be members, outlining the benefits of belonging to SACH. My thanks to all concerned, Dawn, Fred and Anne for their efforts.
Back in May a number of us met here to discuss a paper produced by CAAB entitled Advancing the Professional Agenda. There was lost of stimulating and challenging discussion about the nature and direction of chaplaincy in the 21 st century. It highlighted for me, at least, the value of spending time in conference about some very fundamental matters.
Registration as a healthcare profession
This topic comes up every year and probably will for a while yet! The three professional organisations have set up a steering group to co-ordinate the various pieces of work that are required by the potential regulator, the Health Professions Council. There are ten points which need to be covered, such as; the scope of our practice; a definition of our defined body of knowledge; ensuring minimum standards of entry to the profession; standards and disciplinary procedures and evidence of commitment to continuing professional development.
While a lot of work is being done by a number of people there are things that individual members can do to assist this process. One is to begin, if you have not already begun, to collect CPD points for the various courses and conferences that you attend. Some years ago SACH produced a prototype professional diary to record the various aspects of CPD and this has been used to produce, in the very near future, a portfolio which each of the professional bodies support.
The other thing which I would urge you to do is to add your name to the voluntary register of chaplains which records your support for the process. I will be explaining that in more detail over the coming months.
I would like to express my thanks to David Mitchell and Georgina Nelson for guiding the Journal over the past few years. We, as an association, owe them a great debt of thanks for their commitment to the task and for the quality of the finished article.
We are delighted that Janet Foggie and Iain Macritchie have now taken on the role of editors and we wish them well in all that they do.
Transfer of employment
This has been a long running story too. I'm grateful to John Thomson for coming along to explain where the process is at present and to Iain Telfer for representing us at these protracted negotiations with the HR departments. This will of course raise questions about just how chaplains will be affected, the benefits and possible costs involved.
Agenda for Change
I mention this because it appears like a chimera on every NHS horizon, a promised land of milk and honey, which hopefully won't take 40 years to reach! As things stand most of our members will not actually benefit from this for the time being, but it was pointed out to me that if and when they do it will be as a result of work done on their behalf by Amicus, an organisation to which we have no affiliation. We reap but we do not sow. I raise the question simply because it was asked of me and I did not have a ready answer because I don't know whether this is an issue for members or not.
Do we say it's not our fault that we as a professional body are not allowed by law to enter into negotiations about pay and conditions, or do we say that this needs to be put right, that some accommodation needs to be made?
Thanks to the Executive Committee for all their hard work over the year and especially to Anne Macdonald who has come to the end of her term.
Thanks also to Fred Coutts our webmaster and to Gillian our membership secretary and to Linda Stevens who has served as Treasurer for the past two years.
Dawn Allan, Sandra Bell, Derek Brown, Stan Cook, Bob Deveny, Sue Duncan, Janet Foggie, John Fraser, Andy Graham, Judith Huggett, Muriel Knox, Chris Levison, Anne MacDonald, Gillian Munroe, Anne Mulligan, Tricia Murphy-Black, Mark Rodgers, Ken Russell, Paul Russell, Iain Telfer, Valerie Wilmshurst,
Marjery Collin, John Craw, Raymond Deans, Ian Macritchie, Ian McDonald, Pat McDonald, David Mitchell, Joyce Nicol, Lorna Rattray, Linda Stevens, Audrey Stewart, Monica Stewart, Donald Walker, Stuart Webster
Introduction and Welcome
Derek Brown – SACH President opened the meeting by welcoming everyone to the AGM and Iain Telfer led the worship and devotions.
Minutes of AGM of 2005 were proposed by Mark Rodgers and approved by Chris Levison.
DB read out Archbishop Conti's letter in which the Archbishop's secretary suggested they continue to receive future updates on SACH. DB referred to a number of ‘unstamped' letters and Dawn Allan apologised explaining the franking ink had run dry at Marie Curie reception on the day the 300+ letters were franked.
President's Report 2006
Derek Brown reported on the work of the Executive over the past year.
DB highlighted how issues can be grappled with regarding the importance of spending time with fellow chaplains.
DB thanked the Journal Editors, David Mitchell and Georgina Nelson who have now resigned. He expressed that SACH is grateful that Iain Macritchie and Janet Foggie have taken over as the new Editors.
DB referred to the SACH conference taking place in March 2007 and encouraged everyone to attend if they can. The theme is, “A Decade of Chaplaincy Change & Challenge”.
Derek's report was followed by an Open Forum of questions and discussions
In this forum there was a wide ranging discussion about the topics raised, which included:
- Professional status and registration
- The Scottish dimension- what is unique?
- The status of SACH as a professional body and our future
- The benefits of Agenda for Change
There was unanimous agreement from those present that debate about these and other issues should be widened to include all members.
Update on Transfer of Employment – John Thomson
Following protracted negotiations it has been agreed that those whole time chaplains currently employed by the Church of Scotland will transfer to NHS terms and conditions by the 31 st December. TUPE regulations apply which means that present terms and conditions and length of service are protected.
An Agenda for Change Job Description will need to be in place and chaplains will need to decide what to do about the pension built up with the Church. Each chaplain must take independent financial advice from a pension advisor.
Part-time chaplain's transfers will be considered separately although some Health Boards have already moved their part time chaplains onto NHS conditions.
DB thanked JT for sharing and clarifying the above issues with us.
Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy
Janet Foggie spoke about the Journal and the conference in March 2007, how it has come a long way and would seek to maintain independence and production. The first board meeting would be in 2 weeks time from the AGM. JF said that they hope the conference will be exciting and how the original idea had come from David Mitchell regarding it being a 2 day conference. International guest speaker Anne Ulanov was involved as the main Minister for the 9/11 terrorist attack in New York and Mark Cobb from England will be talking about the changes and challenges currently affecting chaplaincy.
JF said a poster advertising the conference would be circulated everywhere and a booking form will be downloadable via emailing the Journal address and registering via an E-Register from then send it off all on-line.
CPD points will be allocated for attending the 2 day conference at Crieff Hydro.
Regarding CPD Points, Chris Levison confirmed that they need to be applied for at least 6 weeks before any event.
In Linda Steven's absence DB presented the current accounts of 01/07/05 – 30/06/06 signed by Harry Mowbray CA. These were duly adopted, proposed and seconded.
SACH Executive Members standing down
DB thanked the SACH Executive for their work over the past year including Fred Coutts continuing his work as webmaster and James Falconer and in particular the SACH Treasurer Linda Stevens who now works full time in her parish role.
SACH Executive Elections
Derek Brown was willing to continue in post for one further year. There being no other nominations, he was duly re-elected, proposed by Stan Cook and seconded by Anne MacDonald.
Dawn Allan was willing to continue in post for one further year. There being no other nominations, she was duly re-elected, proposed and nominated.
Linda Stevens is standing down from her post. There being no other nominations, DB said he would ‘look after the a/c's' until such time as there is someone to replace Linda or be ‘co-opted' by the Committee.
Anne MacDonald is standing down from her post. There being no other nominations to fill the vacant post the committee will exercise its powers of co-option.
Andrew Thomson's possible ‘ordinary' vacancy?
Derek Brown introduced the afternoon session's guest speakers.
Murray Chalmers – retired mental health chaplain shared the ‘ups and downs' of his work over the years. An enlightening and interesting talk.
Dawn Allan – full time hospice chaplain at Marie Curie, Glasgow shared via a PowerPoint presentation, her recent trip to Romania where she'd taught at a palliative care conference to a multi-disciplinary group of professionals.
The day concluded at 3pm.