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P-48 Inclusive spiritual care for all people receiving hospice care
  1. Martin Hill and
  2. Chanelle Wilson
  1. Havens Hospices, Essex, UK


Introduction The modern hospice movement was founded by Dame Cicely Saunders with a Christian religious ethos. Our spiritual care review showed society has changed while hospices remained mostly static. The review uncovered the following:

  • Misconceptions about who hospice care is for, leading to inequalities in access.

  • Belief, for many people, is something deeply personal and not dependant on religion.

  • To avoid neglecting personal spirituality, hospice and spiritual care should be inclusive and proactive.

  • Spiritual care was offered through a Christian Chaplaincy model. Patients declined with limited information about the alternative provision.


  • Transition hospice spiritual care from a chaplaincy model to one inclusive of all religious and no religious beliefs.

  • Clearly communicate inclusivity of spiritual care throughout the hospice to gain consistency in understanding.

  • Present proactive inclusivity of spiritual care for all patients, family members, volunteers, and staff in the diversity of spiritualities today.

  • Preserve formative values and ethos, from the Christian foundations of Havens Hospices.


  • Be, speak, live spiritual care message in person and through communications.

  • Produce policy and procedure for the breadth of the organisation.

  • Recruit and train volunteers from diverse religious, spiritual and no affiliation.

  • Listen and respond positively to people of all beliefs and none.

  • Data analysis – demographic of patient intake compared against local census demographics.

  • Self-audit against best practice guidance.

  • Robust spiritual care review leading to spiritual care strategy.


  • Inclusive spiritual care increased through staff awareness.

  • Increased patient and family uptake of spiritual care.

  • Increased and diverse community networking.

  • ‘Chapel’ changed to ‘Sanctuary.’

  • Multi-faith approach to spiritual care study days.

  • Has contributed to ongoing cultural change around inclusivity.


  • Inclusive spiritual care is embedded across Havens Hospices.

  • There is increased uptake of spiritual care because patients see it as personally relevant.

  • Continued organisational connection to its founding ethos and values without a religious context.

  • Instigated independent review of culture and focus on equality and diversity throughout.

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