February 28, 2021: Facing the future with hope?
“I’ve had my Covid Vaccination!” One by one, Facebook friends are posting this, not to show off, but to encourage the rest of us take up the offer when it’s our turn. Alongside the appalling hospitalisation and mortality rates, the slowly growing number of vaccinations is a sign of hope that change may not be far off. Meanwhile, so many of us know how exhausted everyone is, and the impact of that on morale. Our hearts go out, too, to the patients and their families and friends, at a time when spending time together is so important. Perhaps we have a fresh insight into the proverb, ‘darkest before dawn’.
How many of us, though, have given training presentations on the nature and importance of hope? Do we have insights that we very professionally, direct at others, that we could revisit to see how they apply to us? Dare we, though? What helps others, can help us. If it doesn’t help us, we might be humbled by finding out, but better placed to go on to find what does help. Either way, painful or affirming, this could be a time for significant personal growth.
‘Thought for the day’ from Tom Gordon
Tom Gordon is a former AHPCC president. You can find Tom’s thought for today here.
Recent thoughts: February 27; February 26; February 25; February 24; February 23; February 22.
If you would like to access Tom’s earlier daily thoughts, you can find them all on his website at ‘swallowsnest’. 28/2
New publication on Spiritual and Religious care for Sikhs
Just published, is Satwant Kaur Rait’s very useful ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Religious and Spiritual Care for Sikh Patients in NHS Hospitals and Hospices’, with some encouragement from staff at St Gemma’s hospice. You can find more information about this on our Books and Reviews page. 18/2
Theos Thinktank Webinar
Training events are still few and far between, but you may be interested in ‘Care under Covid-19: Providing spiritual and pastoral support at a distance’, led by the Theos Thnktank. You can find the link on our Training Events page 16/2
We have links to a few vacancies, including two new Lead Chaplain posts. You can access these via our vacancies page 5/2
We’re making progress with the (online) 2021 AHPCC Annual Conference, May 18th-19th: Reframing Spiritual Care in a Palliative Setting: Responding to Changing Times. More information to follow, but the plan is to arrange presentations for both the afternoons, and to hold the AGM on the morning of the 19th. 4/2
Postponement of the Joint Chaplains Conference in September 2021
You may be aware of plans to hold a joint conference in the Autumn of 2021 (also involving the CHCC and MHC as well as the AHPCC, and separate to our own arrangements in May). At present, arrangements are on hold as the event has been postponed. 4/2
Chaplaincy Forum updates
Healthcare Chaplaincy Forum for Pastoral, Spiritual and Religious Care (The Forum) – Official 5 points update from last week (late January):
1. NHS England led a discussion regarding updating the 2015 chaplaincy guidelines. The discussion looked at the following areas:
a) Overall vision for the guidelines
b) Who, how, when, in terms of consultation
c) Elements the guidelines should include.
If you have thoughts regarding updating the guidelines please feedback through networks you belong to. NHS England will produce a summary of timetable/process which will be circulated separately.
2. NHS England is updating guidance on the use of volunteers. They are clear there should not be a blanket ban and would be pleased to receive examples of good practice during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Please send examples via your networks or via the Forum Chair.
3. UKBHC shared work they are doing in relation to the reporting of CPD to provide a robust process so that the public can be assured that they are safe under the care of chaplains and that health professionals are keeping up to date. They are currently consulting registrants and would be grateful for responses to help them shape what a menu of CPD evidence might look like.
4. Issues with emails reaching the Appointments Advisor co-ordinator were noted. Changes to the email system are being put in place to resolve this. Problems can be highlighted to Mark Stobart, Derek Fraser or the UKBHC administrator. Forum members recognised the importance of the Appointment Advisors to the profession and will discuss how the work of Appointment Advisors can best be supported and developed at a future meeting.
5. It was clear from sharing updates that a strong focus of all Chaplaincy bodies continues to be the support of members during Covid-19.
If you have any questions, then please get back to Karen Murphy. 3/2
Covid-19 Latest Information
Posts relating to Covid-19 tailed off over the summer, but with the current sharp rise in reported infections, there have been several new items. Also, with the rollout of vaccinations and an expansion in asymptomatic testing, these should become available to everyone working with patients, in any setting and in any capacity. We have a dedicated Section on our News Page, where you can find everything Covid-related in one place. 16/1
“Our job is to find out who people are, and help when they feel their spirit’s crushed.” HospiceUK Interview
HospiceUK has just posted this interview with Jill Thornton, Lead Chaplain at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care in Surrey, on their Facebook page. You can read the original on their website. 16/1
On the frontline: “Listening to patients’ stories is a privilege” Hospice UK article
Liz Maitland, another member of the AHPCC Exec was interviwed for this article back in the autumn, but it was flagged up today on Hospice Uk’s Facebook page. You can find the full article here on HospiceUK’s website. 12/1
“The need for spiritual care has never been greater” HospiceUK interview
Karen Murphy was interviewed recenly by Hospice UK, on the importance of spiritual care. It was posted on January 10 on the HospiceUK Facebook page. You can read the full transcript of this on this link to the HospiceUK website. 10/1
Karen has just written her latest letter, for Christmas.
You can find this on the President’s page.
The last ERICH newsletter of 2020 is now available on our Research page, containing news of a Special Issue of the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling on ERICH’s COVID-19 Survey, expected late January; news and interviews on research, including ‘Grieving in times of a pandemic’, ‘Chaplaincy Charting’, and news of the coming ENHCC 2021 Consultation, which will be online. 23/12
‘Can You Be the Air?’
David Buck, our Vice President, has provided several poems for our website; he’s now published his first book of poetry, ‘Can You Be the Air?’.
To find out more, check out our Books and Reviews page. 23/12
AHPCC Membership for 2021
If you are an AHPCC member, you should have received an email about 2021 membership from Margery, our membership secretary.
If you wish to join the AHPCC, you can download the 2021 Membership Form here. Membership is by calendar year, and new applications will cover to the end of 2021. 21/12
Is your AHPCC membership paid up and current? If you wish to join the AHPCC or renew your membership, you can download the Membership Form here. Membership is for the calendar year, but applications received after October 1 will cover the new year.
How to get an automatic alert to new posts on Facebook (please don’t forget to Like or Follow us!)
If you’re new to this website…
Whether you’ve worked in palliative care for years or you’re new in post, we hope you find this website helpful. It’s regularly updated, and alerts also appear on Facebook, especially for new vacancies. Contributions of articles and resources are welcome. New items appear on this page for six to eight weeks, but after that, you can still find most of them in the main body of the website. Gary and Mike.
In your prayers today please remember the patients, staff and volunteers of all the hospices in France & Germany