More about spiritual and pastoral care

Spiritual and Pastoral Care

Patient care

Much of our work is that of listening to patients, allowing them to 'tell it like it is'. Our task is to 'be with and to be for' the patient. We neither moralise nor seek to convert.

We place a high value upon a person's individual experience and work mostly on a 'one-to-one' basis, in complete confidentiality and trust.

Our concern is for the emotional, spiritual and religious needs of patients. While it may appear that our work is mainly religious, in practice it is often a person's spiritual and emotional needs that are paramount. One of our tasks is to enable a person to work through some of the issues which they face as a result of being in hospital. This is particularly true for long-term patients.

The Spiritual and Pastoral Care Team is well placed to be able to provide highly skilled support for patients approaching death. This support is also extended to their relatives. Again the focus is upon a person's spiritual and emotional needs, of which specific religious requirements are an expression.

Whenever sudden death occurs, it is attended by a multiplicity of responses. Chaplains are available in the A&E Department and AAU providing support for relatives and for staff on such occasions. When a patient dies suddenly on a ward, a pastoral carer can be available to spend time with the relatives, while ward staff attend to the other needs which such a death causes.

We value being involved in multi-disciplinary teams in order that the inner needs, as well as the medical needs, of the individual are understood and attended.

We are also able to assist in the unravelling of difficult ethical issues which patient care presents. We may be used as sounding boards on such occasions, or as a non-medical 'voice' when caring for distressed relatives.

You can contact the Spiritual and Pastoral Care team by email on or by phone on 01923 217 994.