No 28 December 2006
As Christmas approaches it becomes open season for charities in particular to make appeals to the better nature of the general populace asking them to support many worthy causes. I thought I'd take advantage of that too.
At the recent AGM there were no nominations for positions on the Executive committee and no replacement was forthcoming for the post of treasurer either. It was a bit disappointing because the members of the Executive work with great diligence and commitment on behalf of you, the members of SACH. On various committees and working groups they represent your interests and engage in discussions about how best to develop chaplaincy not just for the benefit of chaplains but, more importantly, for the benefit of the people we see every day in our diverse places of work. You can catch a flavour of what is happening by reading the proceedings of the AGM on the web and the notes on current issues being addressed by the Executive elsewhere in Soundings .
To do all this well we need a broad range of opinions and backgrounds represented on the Executive, and that's the essence of my appeal to you. Do you think that you could serve with us on the Executive committee and add to the discussions from now until the next AGM when you would be eligible to be elected for a full term, if you wished? Don't be shy! Any member of the committee would be happy to speak to you about this.
My second appeal is for a treasurer. In an ideal world, we wouldn't need to bother with money, but the sad fact is that we haven't quite reached that state yet. SACH cannot function with money and we need someone who will be able to marshal our resources. If you have any bookkeeping skills whatsoever, or know another member who does, please do get in touch.
That's enough haranguing for now! May this season of Advent be on that is filled with hope and expectation for you and yours.
President of SACH
Derek Brown President of SACH
by U A Fanthorpe
In the wood I am one of many.
I am felled, sold, chosen
To be sole tree of a house.
I am throned in a gold bucket.
Light is sewn through my branches,
Precious gifts wrapped in silver
Depend from my twigs. Star-crowned,
I am adored by children, cordially hated
By hoovering housewives, distrusted
By Health & Safety Officers, who name me
Fire Hazard. I reign for twelve days,
Then am sacrificed among rubbish,
Where I wither, age, decay.
But every year I rise again indoors,
Hazardous fire of love.
I'd like to share some of my thoughts about being the hospice/palliative care representative on the SACH Executive.
At the last Executive meeting in the midst of various topics there was much discussion surrounding the SACH Constitution. The Executive agreed that it needs to be reviewed and updated. It is now some time since the current Constitution was written and think you'll agree that life has moved on. A more flexible, workable Constitution is now needed to suit the needs of chaplains in the 21 st Century . During the last AGM in October no-one was nominated for the Treasurer's position or the ordinary members positions. This is a situation which means we will have to ‘co-opt' people to fill these roles until the next AGM in October 2007. If you have no idea what being a member of the SACH Executive is about please do not hesitate to contact us – there are no ‘special' qualifications, just an open heart and a willing demeanour to work as a team to enable SACH to continue to grow and move forward. Without growth, things become stagnant and stale, including committees! Please think seriously about joining with us - especially if you've just joined the ranks of healthcare chaplains in Scotland.
I am proud to be associated with an organisation which is at the helm of encouraging and supporting people in their chaplaincy roles. Nobody said our jobs would be easy, but we need to harness the positives of what we're about, why we're doing what we do and where we'd like to see the chaplaincy profession in years to come in Scotland. We cannot rely on the church, organisations, or other professionals to promote the value of what we're about. If we don't take ownership of this for ourselves no-one else will. The SACH Executive work endlessly behind the scenes on behalf of all members. We may not always get it right – in fact, it may help if you informed us of what you really think, rather than keeping your opinion to yourself! We are open to new ideas, suggestions, advice and particularly extra ‘live' bodies that are willing to participate with us. SACH in representing a unique body of people recognises the ups and downs of healthcare chaplaincy, the communication barriers and the frustrations of the daily task at hand for example, like the limitations of ‘Data Protection'.
I'd like to think that if you're really serious about your role and the impact you have on the many people you support and work with that you too would be proud to be a member of SACH. Wouldn't it be wonderful if more of us took positive action i.e. responsibility for our roles and were more accountable for how we work, the teams we're part of and how to encourage each other more? The spiritual and emotional care, not forgetting the religious care of our patients and families is paramount, we need to pull rank and recognise that what we do is about helping rather than hindering people. Hopefully, you may feel inspired to think about this and the fact that the SACH Executive and our President Derek Brown, could also do with some encouragement and support. I look forward to your responses and hopefully your willingness to join with us in moving forward into the unknown, but exciting future of SACH.
Secretary of SACH
Scottish Churches House, Dunblane, 24 th October 2006
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.
As you will no doubt be aware a major conference is to be held in March next year by SACH to celebrate 10 years of the Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy. The key speakers are Anne Ulanov, who is Professor of Psychiatry and Religion at Union Theological Seminary, New York, and an expert in the field of pastoral response to terrorism, and Mark Cobb, who is a chaplain, and Director of Professional Services, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, author of books on chaplaincy and member of the Chaplaincy Academic Accreditation Board. here will be workshops on six major areas in which chaplains work. Also of special interest for those who have followed the journal, there will be a paper given by Noel Brown, who has provided the Orere Source material at the end of each volume, a highly prized resource for healthcare chaplaincy research. Last, but definitely not least David Mitchell will be giving a retrospective view of the work done by Georgina Nelson and himself and the changes in the journal since its inception.
The conference is being held in Crieff Hydro, a four star hotel with a Victorian Spa, gym and extensive grounds in the heart of Scotland. The Conference fee includes use of the hotel's facilities, lunch both days, and a Scottish breakfast. To celebrate the Journal and in appreciation of its success there will be a full conference dinner with after-dinner peeches and a complimentary glass of wine.
The cost is £185
SJHC Conference Booking
NHS Highland Chaplaincy Department
There is expected to be considerable interest in this conference andbookings should be made by Friday 12th January 2007 to ensure a place.
Secretary, SJHC Conference Committee
People are illogical, unreasonable and self centred.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway .
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favour underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway .
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you may get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
By Dr K M Keith
You will all come into contact with the NHS Education for Scotland sponsored ‘Multi Faith Guide for Healthcare Staff' in the near future. We are having discussions with a printer which may delay distribution for a short time. This guide has been produced with the help of the Spiritual Care Development Committee which has representatives from most of the thirteen groups included. The plan is that it should go to every GP practice, every ward and every department in NHS Scotland. It will also be available in electronic form on intranet sites, as it is on the chaplaincy web site (www.chaplains.co.uk). I hope it will prove useful as a way of helping staff to be sensitive and aware of some of the diverse needs of a multi cultural society. There is a flap at the back of the booklet which already holds a poster and a list of national contacts - a list of local contacts should also be inserted and kept up to date. It does not purport to be a definitive description of different faith and belief groups but attempts to describe likely healthcare needs. It advises staff to seek advice from the chaplaincy service when necessary and most important of all, it encourages staff to ask the patient whether they have any particular concerns or needs.
You will also, if I have your e-mail address, have received a chaplaincy questionnaire. This has two main purposes:
· to help us understand where chaplains are spending most of their working time;
· to provide a picture about the integration of and support for, chaplaincy/spiritual care services in your working environment.
The revision of HDL (2002)76 has been delayed somewhat but when this is done it will need to reflect the changes which have taken place over the last four years and it will have to suggest a more comprehensive way of calculating the amount of chaplaincy provision necessary within healthcare institutions and communities. The results will be written up and should provide an interesting snapshot of where chaplaincy is. I have no illusions about the difficulty of creating an adequate chaplaincy sessions measuring tool, but hopefully we will have guidelines which will be of help in different healthcare situations.
It will be most helpful to receive as many replies as possible. Doubtless you will be impressed by the e-friendly form (if it works for you) and you will not be surprised to know that I received help from a couple of people in NES. If you are not on electronic systems but would like to take part, please use the form of a colleague or ask me for one. Anne or I will be happy to oblige.
We hope to publish the Chaplaincy Service Standards in the not too distant future. These will also help us to develop a standard of service which can be reviewed in a way which is understandable to health service staff and will help to indicate in which areas the local service should seek to develop. Chaplaincy which is better understood will be more appreciated and more appropriately used.
Wishing you greetings and peace over the Christmas season.
Training and Development Officer
NHS Education for Scotland (NES)
2 Central Quay
89 Hydepark Street
Glasgow G3 8BW
Tel: 0141 223 1443
The Secretary of SACH is :
Marie Curie Hospice, Glasgow
1 Belmont Road
Telephone: 0141 531 1346
You can find this (and previous) editions of SACH Soundings in full colour
on the SACH Website:
If you would like to receive the colour version of SACH Soundings by E-mail in Acrobat PDF Format, send your E-mail address to: Fred.Coutts@sach.org.uk
Send news, articles, pictures, stories and ideas s soon as possible to:
Rev Fred Coutts
Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
Tel: 01224 553166