Background Spirituality is a hugely important part of the end of a person’s life: what matters to them most, who they are; their story; their friends/family; those that care for them. When the hospice’s existing Anglican Chaplain retired after 17 years, an opportunity arose for us to review our provision of spiritual care, moving away from a traditional chaplaincy model to support our ever-changing communities. Evidence, identified as part of the process, highlighted the gaps in the care we already provide.
Aim To create an updated model for spiritual care, led by a newly appointed Spiritual Care Specialist, achieving inclusive support for all that come in to contact with Rowcroft regardless of religion, beliefs, faith, or no-faith.
Method September 2018 – Jan 2019: we conducted a service evaluation, set up a Task and Finish Group which consisted of core representation across the organisation; different nurses from the ward attended each group, undertook a literature review, contacted other hospices, hospitals and Healthwatch Torbay, developed a Spiritual Care Model and gained Senior Management Board and Trustees buy-in.
Results A Spiritual Care Specialist was appointed. The existing on-site Chapel was de-registered and renamed The Sanctuary. Marriages, celebrations and other events for all (regardless of faiths, beliefs, religions) can take place in the space, also providing a ‘quiet’ space. There are seven further recommendations within the new model that will now be progressed to fully achieve the desired outcomes with the help of a Spiritual Care ‘Custodian’ Group.
Conclusion Challenging the traditional ‘chaplaincy’ role, creating a new model of care to match the changes in the local communities and across the country, has been a huge transformation within the organisation. Our new Spiritual Care Specialist will ensure our organisation is fully inclusive, meeting the needs of all Rowcroft patients, relatives, carers, staff and volunteers.
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