Bishop of Bristol asks Government about palliative care and the future of hospital chaplaincy

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Bishop of Bristol June 2015
On the 8th of July 2015 the Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Mike Hill, received two written answers to questions about the future of hospital chaplaincy and palliative care.

The Lord Bishop of Bristol: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 23 June (HL Deb, col 1471), what steps they are taking to ensure that the ministry of chaplains in United Kingdom hospitals and hospices remains a part of end-of-life care.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Lord Prior of Brampton on 23 June (HL Deb, col 1471), what steps they are taking to ensure
(1) that NHS England continues to commission adequate healthcare chaplaincy services, and
(2) that, as stated by the Minster of State for Community and Social Care on 17 December 2013 (HC180621), local NHS trusts continue to be “responsible for determining, delivering and funding religious and spiritual care in a way that meets the needs of their patients, carers and staff.”
Lord Prior of Brampton: We value the important role chaplaincy services play in delivering compassionate, personalised care, including at the end of life.
The five Priorities for Care of the Dying Person, which the Government introduced in June 2014 and is attached, set out the importance of sensitive communication and the spiritual care of dying people and those important to them. As a member of the Leadership Alliance for the Care of Dying People, the College of Health Care Chaplains was integral to the development, dissemination and implementation of the Priorities for Care.

It remains the case that local National Health Service trusts are responsible for determining, delivering and funding religious and spiritual care in a way that meets the needs of their patients, carers and staff. NHS England is not involved in commissioning chaplaincy services locally. However, NHS England maintains a dialogue with chaplaincy associations through the NHS Chaplaincy programme and the Chaplaincy Leaders Forum as part of NHS England’s work on improving patient care, promoting equality and reducing inequalities in health outcomes.

As health is a devolved issue, the commissioning and provision of chaplaincy services in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should be addressed to the relevant devolved administrations.

One Chance To Get It Right (PDF Document, 672.5 KB)

(Via Parliament.UK)