No 16 December 2003
- President's Report
- AGM Minutes
- Scottish Church Committee on Healthcare Chaplaincy
- Training and Development Group
- Further Study
- Looking for a Treasurer
- Scratchings from the TDO
- Seamless Transition Conference
- New Committee Members
- New Aberdeen Chaplains
- Index of Previous Newsletters
Derek Brown President, SACH
a recent survey….” How many times have you heard or read those words
and silently fumed, “Well they never asked me what I thought!”
There are surveys about everything under the sun. Investigations abound into the efficacy of one soap powder over another and I even heard of one survey which claims that 30% of Americans believe that the haggis is an animal with two legs shorter on one side than the other. That few, I hear you say!
Rarely have I heard of surveys into what people thought about spiritual care. However in Inverness the Chaplaincy Team has been part of a study carried out by Aberdeen University. The research is entitled “The role of the hospital chaplain” and it sets out to discover what that is by talking to chaplains, volunteers, members of staff and patients.
Over a period of six weeks a researcher has spent time shadowing chaplains as we go about our business, recording what we do and who we meet and how we operate. There have also been ample opportunities to speak to staff and patients about their perceptions and expectations of the care that chaplains deliver. It has been a very positive experience all round.
As chaplains we have had to explain our thought processes to a third party. Why we did this and not that; our understanding of the dynamics of any given situation; the relationships forged in the intensity of a pastoral encounter.
I have always though that reflective practice is a most helpful tool for chaplains, however it is carried out. Why we do what we do is a useful thing to know. It is good to see that there are coming on stream a number of possible ways to hone those skills either through post graduate study or Clinical Pastoral Education.
Employment issues are uppermost in many people’s minds at the present time. By the time you read this you may already know what the Board of National Mission has decided regarding employment of chaplains. The executive has written to the Board expressing our desire to see a move towards direct health service employment as the best way forward. There are a number of reasons for this:
The health service funds the majority of chaplaincy but has no rights as employer while the church employs but has no direct day to day management responsibility. This provides the worst of both worlds.
The executive were also concerned about the position of National Mission employees on the introduction of Agenda for Change and the possibility that pay and conditions could be adversely affected.
There is a growing probability that chaplains will apply to become formally recognised as a healthcare profession. This is allied to a desire to be seen as part of the multi-professional team delivering care in all its facets. The question is whether this would be possible if chaplains in Scotland remain church employees?
Increasingly chaplains themselves see that a move to direct employment would be desirable. It would allow for chaplains to engage more fully with the structure in which they find themselves.
We realise that this path may not be altogether smooth but has the advantage of being a positive step into the future rather than hankering back to a past which we cannot now recapture. Speaking personally, I have found direct employment to pose no difficulty in performing my ministry nor adversely affecting my relationship with the church.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all an expectant Advent and a blessed Christmas.
You can read the minutes of the 2003 AGM held in Stirling in October on the SACH Website. Go to the AGM Page: www.sach.org.uk/agm.htm
Reports of Meetings
Scottish Church Committee
on Healthcare Chaplaincy
The last meeting of the SCCHCC took place on 7th October and covered the following main areas: the appointment of chaplains, training and development, the Spiritual Care Development Committee, and the future of the Scottish Church's Committee.
Appointment of Chaplains
The committee reflected on the developing trend of chaplains being appointed directly by NHS Trusts as opposed to being employed by The Board of National Mission. This the committee felt was certain to continue due to the gradual erosion in pay and conditions which Church employed chaplains would experience in comparison with their Trust appointed chaplains. This situation was further underlined by The Board of National Mission decision to balance it's budget by 2007. It was also noted that Part-time chaplains would not be covered by Agenda for Change. Concern was also expressed about the difference in pension provision between chaplains who were employed by the Church and those who were employed by the NHS.
Training and Development
Discussions have been taking place with several Schools of Divinity regarding the creation of a modular based MTh in Hospital Chaplaincy. This is ongoing and is being developed by Chris Levison.
The Spiritual Care Development Committee
The first meeting of this committee has taken place with representatives from within chaplaincy and other faith groups. A convenor has yet to be found and so the committee is felt still to be in the process of formation.
Future of Scottish Churches Committee
The convenor informed the committee that is was to be linked to ACTS structures as an ecumenical group within The Church and Society Network and should have links with other networks as appropriate.
(Chaplain at Gartnavel General Hospital and Western Infirmary, Glasgow, represents SACH on SSCHCC)
Training and Development Group
27th November 2003
The HCTD Group oversees the work of the HCTD Unit and the work of Chris Levison and Andrew Moore. The Group meets four times a year and receives reports on current progress and projected plans.
Feedback on four conferences – a Study Day on ‘Positive Attitudes’ to Mental Health held at Murray Royal in Perth, the Whole-Time Chaplains’ Conference at Carberry, the Recently Appointed Chaplains’ Day at St John’s and the Maternity Study Day held at the new Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh – was largely positive. It seems the perennial problem is catching the balance between offering a varied programme to make conferences appealing with sufficient time in groups to share questions and experience. In particular a presentation by Harriet Mowat presently heading up a research project at Aberdeen University on Spirituality in Healthcare was very enthusiastically received at the Whole-Time Conference, with a strong feeling expressed that a future seminar would be well worth considering.
Discussions are on-going with the Scottish Schools of Divinity and Religious Studies about establishing an Introductory Course for Chaplaincy, which might then lead to an MTh. With Registration as a healthcare profession being currently pursued, it is hoped, in the long-term, to be able to offer a qualification in Chaplaincy.
The Unit is promoting Clinical Pastoral Education as a useful tool in supervision and continuing professional development. This year, two pilot courses have been run in Glasgow, with a third currently running in Edinburgh. Val Duff is co-ordinating these along with Bob Devenny. At the moment these are not accredited courses but, for the future, this is being pursued through UKCPE.
In response to the new ‘Guidelines’, the Unit has been monitoring the progress of Health Boards in preparing their Spiritual Care Policies. Several have reached the stage of presentation at Board level for acceptance and ratification. The specific role of the Unit has been as a resource for working groups, in evaluating and offering feedback and passing back information to the Scottish Executive Health Department.
The Unit has also been instrumental in setting up a new Spiritual Care Development Committee, to provide a forum for inter-faith and other interest groups to explore and develop current themes facing Chaplaincy, as well as facilitate representation to the SEHD. The group, comprising representatives of faith / life stance communities, chaplaincy associations, managers and clinicians has met twice and has looked at the ‘Guidelines’, the PFPI initiative and Data Protection amongst other things. A ‘scoping’ study into the feasibility of Clinical Standards for Chaplaincy in the Health Service has also recently been set up.
As will be reported elsewhere in ‘Soundings’, the big change about to take place in the Unit itself is that Andrew Moore is soon to take up a new post with Ayrshire and Arran Health Board. It is hoped to appoint a successor to Andrew, on a one-year secondment with opportunity for review. The Unit itself was set up for an initial three-year period. Two years on, discussions are now taking place with the SEHD as to possible future permanent funding.
(Chaplain at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, represents SACH on HCTD Group)
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Aberdeen AB25 2ZN
PS Grants are made on one-off basis only
our treasurer is looking to stand down. Unfortunately there was no one
willing to take up this post at the AGM. Can you help, or do you know
someone who might be approached to do this important job?
The job entails:
- Maintaining regular accounting of the day to day finance and bank accounts
- Depositing cheques
- Liaising with the membership secretary (who handles renewal reminders and new applications) and depositing membership subscriptions
- Paying accounts
- Making Financial statements to the executive meetings and arranging the Audit of Accounts for the AGM
Contact Monica Stewart, the Secretary
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Aberdeen AB25 2ZN
recent years the Journal has been growing in recognition and credibility
thanks to the continuing support of contributors and the dedication
and commitment of the editorial board. Following the publication of
Volume 6 Number 2 in October the Board met and agreed to approach the
SACH Executive with a proposal to make the Journal available in full
The Journal articles are being read and referenced world wide. The editors get requests to e-mail articles direct to enquirers and the Journal is also held by the British Library and articles are available from there at a cost to the student. An increasing number of professional journals are making their copy available in full-text on-line. The great advantage for students is that they can download the articles they need, and increasingly students will use and reference articles that are available on-line rather than search out the copies in the library and photocopy them. The Board considered whether the decision would have an effect on subscriptions and anticipate that it will not: the norm is to keep the current issue on print form and put all back copies on-line.
The SACH Executive have agreed to support the development of the Journal on-line and it is hoped that in the New Year the back issues will be added to the Journal pages of the SACH Website enhancing the information available on the website and increasing the readership of the Journal world wide.
The editors are grateful to the SACH Executive for their continuing support and to Fred Coutts for his invaluable advice and expertise in developing the website.
There is a lot of change at the Training and Development Unit. Andrew is moving back to a new nurse management position in Ayrshire and Arran. He has been an enormous asset to chaplaincy/spiritual care during his time with us, and along with his many skills derived from nursing, audit and research, will be missed. He also made good friends with many chaplains and others during his work around Scotland. He goes with our warm regards and will continue to be a good and knowledgeable colleague to chaplaincy in his new post. He is, from 8th December, the assistant nurse manager for surgical services across the Ayrshire and Arran Health Board Area.
The Health Department has given us the go ahead to look for a replacement and already there are encouraging signs of interest. Along with this departmental support there is work going on concerning the future of the unit. The educational remit, the on going relationships with Patient Focus Public Involvement and the rising profile of the Equality and Diversity agendas, show the continuing need for a body with responsibility as a “spiritual care” resource. Implementation plans will become an increasing priority as Spiritual Care Policies are adopted by all Health Boards.
Much work is needed in planning a more comprehensive introductory course for chaplains as well as opportunities for continuous professional development through study days, conferences, CPE and further qualification possibilities. There is little time to sit on one’s hands!
Training and Development Officer
Around 200 people took part in the Seamless Transition conference at the Inchyra Hotel Grangemouth on 26th November. They came from a variety of backgrounds with many from chaplaincy, management and clinical areas. The purpose was to chart progress since the two years of the initial report by the working party, and the year and a bit from the production of HDL 76 2002 “Spiritual Care in NHS Scotland”. www.chaplains.co.uk/hdl(2002)76.pdf
The main speakers included Professor John Swinton from Aberdeen University, Pete Ritchie formerly from Scottish Human Services Board, Dr David Reilly medical director of Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital. Andrew and I gave a background and progress report on the Policy Development process. Present throughout the day was Graham Ogilvie a graphic artist whose cartoons illustrated salient points and were soon adorning the walls. (They are now available on disc or electronically or see them on the website: www.chaplains.co.uk/seamless_01.htm
The morning was chaired by Anne Jarvie , Chief Nursing Officer of NHS Scotland, under whose name the HDL went out and who heads the Patient Focus and Public Involvement Initiative. She spoke of the conference two years ago and gave background to the day and to some of the earliest chaplaincy developments in Glasgow Infirmary some two hundred years ago. She was enthusiastic about the process and remarked on the “bubbly” atmosphere of the participants at the day.
Chris gave some background to the HDL and spoke of the principles of and reasons for a Spiritual Care Policy : emphasising that spiritual care is available for all in the health care community and that in relating the caring to the curing we are dealing with something which is cost effective and wholesome. Using literature and quotations he described the patient’s situation and the need for someone to be with. From the “Life of Pi”, being a patient is rather like being in a lifeboat with a tiger!
Andrew spoke about the progress made so far with policy writing. The response and feedback is encouraging despite the plethora of initiatives which seem to be around. He described the process as a marathon rather than an individual event. All are encouraged to participate and all who work through the process may be seen as winners. Despite the stress that many are under, (remember the slide!) this is a positive initiative and has the potential to be helpful for all.
Swinton challenged us to think of health and ill health in new ways.
Health is a continuum and we are all somewhere on the line, ill health
can be described as a strange country and all of us are passport holders
at some point. He emphasised the importance of “the story” in how we
communicate, and gave several examples of good spiritual care.
Pete Ritchie talked of person centred care and compared the way we think of people in differing contexts eg as citizens or patients or customers or clients, where the perspectives vary to some extent. Person centredness is a matter of seeing the whole person and relating and giving due emphasis to the human side. He introduced the idea of the “Holth” Service, i.e. whole person care.
David Reilly spoke of his disquiet with the way medicine and care are delivered with too much dependence on drug therapy and not enough on therapeutic relationships. Too much concentration on the tools and not enough on the context. He spoke of healing as an art as much as a science and of the human body’s inner ability to heal. He showed some telling slides and fascinating research on placebo effects and on the different results which come from relationships where the person/patient has confidence that they are being listened to and cared for by the doctor. This kind of research gives solid backing to the importance of spiritual care although, interestingly, that is not a description which David Reilly uses.
workshops were fairly evenly attended and covered a wide area of subjects
: Bob Devenny on Research, Joan Jamieson on Ethnic Minority Health,
Gillian Munro with Liz Forsyth and Frank Brown, two managerial colleagues
describing the Tayside process, Isabel Smyth on Inter Faith Competence,
Sandy Young on Departmental Organisation and Issues, Kenyon Wright on
the Challenge to the Churches, Harriet Mowat and Desmond Ryan on promoting
Staff Confidence in Spiritual Care, Mairi McMenamin and Charlie MacMillan
on Patient Focus Public Involvement. People could attend two workshops
as they were repeated.
The chair person for the afternoon was Alison Elliot who reported at the conference two years before. She summed up the sense of enthusiasm and interest which was clearly evident throughout the day and reminded us of a couple of key words which we had been encouraged to use, such as “holth” and “psychoneuroimmunology”, if we ever needed to impress our friends or an interviewing panel. She thanked the organisers and participants for the day and sent us happy and tired, on our way.
a view of the art work , look at our web site, it sums up much that
was said in a colourful way!
to new committee members elected at the AGM: Hilda Smith from Yorkhill
and Anne McDonald, south Sector Greater Glasgow Primary Care Trust.
Thanks to those committee members who have retired:Isabel Whyte and Jim Allardyce
Rev Mark Rodgers from Northern Ireland started work in the Aberdeen Chaplaincy team on 1 December. Also taking up post on the same day were two half time assistant chaplains, Rev Marian Cowie and Rev Sylvia Spencer.
The next edition
of SACH Soundings will be published
in March 2004.
Send news, articles, pictures, stories and ideas to:
Rev Fred Coutts
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Fax: 01224 554551