SACH News Sheet No 5
- One Step Closer
- Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy
- Membership Update
- Date of AGM
- Executive Members
- Organ Retention at Post-Mortem
- The Shape of things to come
- Comings and GoingS
The Minister is mindful to fund the post of Healthcare Chaplaincy Training and Development Officer for Scotland. But first she must be sure that this will fit in with her vision of a health service which will allow everyone in Scotland, from whatever faith group, to find appropriate spiritual support.
This was the outcome of a consultation about Spiritual Care in the NHS held in early July. Representatives of those interested in spiritual care (including SACH) met with representatives of the Health Department of the Scottish Executive and looked at, among other things, the proposals submitted earlier in the year by the Scottish Churches Committee on Healthcare Chaplaincy for funding for a whole time Training and Development Officer.
These proposals are now being revised to make sure that multi-faith issues are made explicit and appropriate attention is paid to meeting the training needs of staff in delivering spiritual care in a multi-cultural Scotland. We anticipate that the post will be advertised in the autumn and an appointment made as soon as possible.
One of the first tasks of the Training and Development Officer will be to participate in a national conference which will be called in a few months time by Susan Deacon, the Health Minister. She will take the opportunity to share her vision for the delivery of quality spiritual care in the NHS, with managers of Health Boards and Trusts and ensure performance management.
Appropriate spiritual care is very much on the agenda. Exciting times are ahead for chaplaincy in Scotland!
"The Editorial Board is working to develop the Journal as a resource for chaplains and other professions concerned with the provision of spiritual, religious and pastoral care in a healthcare setting."
The latest issue of the Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy (Vol 3. 2. 2000) has been well received and the feedback has been positive. The Journal is still in its infancy and the Editorial Board is working to develop the Journal as a resource for chaplains and other professions concerned with the provision of spiritual, religious and pastoral care in a healthcare setting.
At present almost all contributions to the Journal are by request from the Editorial Board. We are keen that a wider range of chaplains and other professionals contribute to the Journal.
- Have you an issue/experience you feel others could benefit from?
- Have you a comment about an article that has been published?
- Have you read a good book recently?
- Have you been to a conference and heard a good speaker?
- Are there other professionals you know who could be approached to write?
The editors are happy to follow up any suggestions and to receive articles, letters, book reviews etc.
If you have an idea but arent sure if it would be of interest, phone or e-mail the editors and discuss it. If you have a draft, send it in and the editors will review it and offer honest and constructive criticism. Please dont be put off by the Instructions for Authors. They are meant as a guide. The editors are happy to spell and grammar check submissions and set them out in the journal format. (Praise God for Microsoft Word).
We could also use your help to encourage a wider readership. Does your hospital library subscribe? Do they know the Journal exists? Why not ask, and if you want a back copy to give them as an example contact the editors. You could also encourage other professionals to read your Journal. Try lending your copy to colleagues.
This is your Journal: dont just read it, own it and contribute to it.
David Mitchell 0141-558-2555
Georgina Nelson 01506-419666
Membership is holding fairly steady with 97 members at present. Inevitably due to retiral and moves we have sadly said goodbye to some but have also welcomed others on board.
A Date for your diary:
Monday 23 October 2000
Stirling Royal Infirmary
Elected at the 1999 AGM
Rev Anne Harper (Chaplain at Glasgow Royal Infirmary)
Rev Ian McDonald (Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy)
Rev Jeanette Jenkins (The Ayrshire Hospice)
- Rev Sandra Black (Yorkhill, Glasgow)>
- Fr Stephen Dunn (Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow)
- Rev Pat McDonald (Royal Infirmary & Yorkhill, Glasgow)
- Rev Isabel Whyte (Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline)
By Anne Harper (Glasgow Royal Infirmary)
We will all be aware of the serious public concern about this issue. Reporting of events at the Bristol and Alder Hey inquiries has affected not only the parents of young children but also the families of adults upon whom a post-mortem examination has been carried out.
The Department of Health states that post-mortem examination is important for a number of reasons:-
- informing relatives, clinicians and legal authorities about the cause of death;
- telling bereaved families about the possibility of acquired and genetic diseases where care and treatment may be required.
Appropriate examination of organs and tissues at post-mortem is essential in :
- improving clinical care;
- maintaining clinical standards;
- increasing our understanding of disease;
- in supporting clinical research and training.
As part of that same statement it says that the Secretary of State has asked the Chief Medical Officer to carry out a full national investigation into this area of clinical practice. This will explore the issue of organ and tissue retention at post-mortem in NHS Hospital Trusts, the guidelines and local protocols for obtaining consent (actually it is agreement which is obtained, thus the reason for putting consent in inverted commas) and the arrangements in place for the disposal of organs and tissues kept for examination after death. The CMO will be reporting to ministers in September 2000 and definitive guidelines to the NHS will follow.
Meantime all NHS Trusts will be reviewing their own practices and protocols and will be updating their consent forms. They will also be looking at the printed information which they provide for relatives who are being asked to agree to a post-mortem examination, and at the information and training given to medical staff who are asking for this agreement. The Royal College of Pathologists guidelines indicate that a senior member of the medical team should speak to families about this, which would be a major change from the current practice which normally allows the task to fall to a junior (and sometimes very new) doctor. The possibility of Bereavement Officers or Counsellors doing this has been suggested and the idea may be pursued at some future date but it would involve considerable additional funding and a total change of practice.
It must now be made clear to relatives in the consent form which organs (if any) might be retained. The consent form must also indicate that tissue will be retained. Relatives can agree to a post-mortem being performed on a limited area of the body if they have strong feelings about this. However, no consent is required for a Procurator Fiscal post-mortem and agreeing to a hospital post-mortem does not preclude the former. The standards and protocols for a fiscal post-mortem are quite separate from those performed by a hospital.
All of our Trusts will be involved in this review procedure and although it is not the most cheerful of topics, it is of great importance that the whole area of post-mortems and organ and tissue retention be coped with sensitively to avoid additional suffering for those bereaved family members who face being asked for consent.
If you have a particular interest in or concern about this topic, please contact Anne
Harper, Chaplains Office, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, 84 Castle Street, Glasgow. G4
Tel. 0141 211 4661.
The pattern of training conferences for 2001 is set to change. A one day conference for all chaplains will be held in Glasgow in May, in place of the residential Crieff Conference which has clearly proved too expensive for more than a handful of part-time chaplains to attend.
The special needs of chaplains who work whole-time (or a significant part of their working week in chaplaincy) will be recognised by a residential training conference in September 2001 at Edinburgh University.
Fred Coutts, the Healthcare Chaplaincy Training Officer for Scotland promises that details about these conferences and other training events will be published in the September edition of Training Matters which is sent out to all chaplains in Scotland.
Watch out for more information.
Robin Rae retired at the end of April from Ninewells in Dundee. Melville Schofieldwill retire in October from the Western in Edinburgh. His place will be taken by Alistair Ridland.
In Glasgow, Pat McDonaldwas appointed to work part time at Yorkhill in addition to her chaplaincy at the Royal.
A new post, directly appointed by Tayside Primary Care Trust in Dundee has been filled by Iain Law.
In Aberdeen, Mari Lovetthas gone to New College in Edinburgh to study for the ministry of the Church of Scotland and Alison Swindellshas moved to a parish in Aberdeen. They have been suceeded as assistant chaplains by Muriel Knoxand Monica Stewart.
A presentation was made to Melville Schofield and Robin Rae at the Crieff Conference to mark their retirals
Letter from Melville Schofield
I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my fellow chaplains on receiving the beautiful little quaich and cheque £100. I never imagined that the farewell would enable me to get a new wood lathe for my workshop (erstwhile garage!)
Please accept my heartfelt thanks and may Gods richest blessing be on all your work and play!
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The Ayrshire Hospice
35 Racecourse Road