29th November 2020: What next? What, now?
The NHS as we know it, began with the 1942 Beveridge Report, though its roots go further back. 1942! Didn’t the government have more pressing needs during a World War, especially while everything was still so uncertain? But not even war prevented the forward thinking that it needed. And as our own restrictions continue, this too may be a time for forward thinking – how do we best promote spiritual care in the ‘new normal’? The birth of the NHS is a positive example of how the moment of need isn’t the time to begin the planning – or for us, to begin to advocate for the spiritual values that are essential to palliative care.
A related area is training. We are aware of losing so many opportunities to receive training; but what about the training we provide? There are few better preparations for any pastoral care role than a palliative care chaplaincy placement – and generally, everyone benefits. After the initial stage, most students become an asset. The partnership with a university both promotes chaplaincy and reflects well on the hospice. The students become pastoral carers who understand chaplaincy, and may even become the next generation of chaplains. But like the NHS, it needs forward thinking. And now, well before anything can happen, is a good time to think and plan. If you’re not sure about how to host a placement, contact the AHPCC Exec.
‘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: November 28; November 27; November 26; November 25; November 24; November 23.
If you would like to access Tom’s earlier daily thoughts, you can find them all on his website at ‘swallowsnest’.
And as a bonus for Advent, Tom’s also written ‘A Covid Christmas’. 29/11/2020
NES ‘Introduction to Qualitative Research in Spiritual Care’
NES has produced a six week course, available to chaplains in Scotland and Ireland, as an introduction to research practice. The flyer is accessible from our Training events page. 27/11/2020
Royal Shakespeare Company Globe Christmas Show for children
The RSC’s virtual Christmas Show, “Christmas at the (Snow) Globe” will be available free of charge to all children’s hospitals and wards.
This should include children’s hospices; please also pass this on to chaplains you know working on children’s wards and in children’s hospitals. To find out more, check out ‘Christmas at the Snow Globe 2020. 27/11/2020
Free Churches Group
Congratulations to Mark Newitt, who succeeds Meg Burton as Secretary for the Healthcare Chaplaincy for the Free Churches Group. Rev Dr Mark Newitt has spent fifteen years as a chaplain in Sheffield, at both the Teaching Hospital and more recently, at St Luke’s Hospice. While now an Anglican, Mark has multi-denominational experience from past involvement (Salvation Army, Methodist and Baptist) and from working as a healthcare chaplain. Rev Paul Rochester, General Secretary of the FCG says: “Mark is looking forward to working with Free Church Healthcare chaplains and understands the theology, values and practice that have inspired the Free Churches for many centuries.”
Mark is Chair of the Forum, has been a leader of the Yorkshire and Humber Chaplaincy Research Group and is also Book Review Editor of ‘Health and Social Care Chaplaincy’. Mark begins his new role on January 18th, 2021. 27/11/2020
We have links to several vacancies, two hospice posts, the others hospital-based, including in Farnham and Guildford, and Bedfordshire, Kent, Middlesbrough and Southend. You can access these via our vacancies page 21/11/2020
Karen has just written her latest letter, for November, which you can find on the President’s page.
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. 10/11/2020
More ‘Spiritual Care Snapshots’
Earlier this year, David Buck wrote ‘Spiritual Care Snapshots’ – six short articles based on spiritual care, each of them with concluded with a short reflective poem. David has now submitted six more, and you can find ‘Spiritual Care Snaphots 7-12’ on our Articles page. 05/11/2020
The Contacts and Links page
While most of the website is about the AHPCC, we are part of both the wider worlds of palliative care, and also religious and spiritual care. Don’t forget to check out our Contacts and Links page from time to time, for connections to other organisations. 05/11/20
Christmas is coming! What are your ‘Light Up A Life’ service plans?
We won’t be putting the decorations up yet, but planning events starts early, and so much will be different this year. If you have ideas to share for ‘Light Up A Life’ or other memorial events, that we can post, please could you email them to the Editor. 27/10/2020
Covid-19 Latest Information
Posts relating to Covid-19 tailed off over the summer, but with the current sharp rise in reported infections, don’t forget that we have a dedicated Section on our News Page, where you can find everything Covid-related in one place. 26/10/2020
University of Surrey research into the core palliative care needs of older people with severe frailty living at home
Professor Caroline Nicholson is seeking contributors for a two-part online survey, to help with this project. Our research page has links to both the survey and more detailed information. 25/10/2020
Manchester Metropolitan University research into ‘Social Distance, Digital Congregation: British Ritual Innovation under Covid-19’
Dr Eleanor O’Keeffe is seeking input from hospice and palliative care chaplains, on experience, coping, and innovation in response to the limitations imposed by the pandemic, to “record these experiences, so we can learn from them in the future.” She asks for help with a short survey, also to help disseminate it to faith communities, and for help with a chaplaincy-based case study. You can find links for more information on our Research Page. 25/10/2020
‘Five Spiritual Strengths Your Patients Might Be Pursuing’
EAPC (the European Association for Palliative Care) has just published a very useful article on spiritual care, highlighting the significance of spiritual need and the importance of non-denominational specialist spiritual care. This is part of a series on the subject, and you can access the report on the EAPC website here, as well as links to other items in the series. It is especially pertinent at a time when spiritual care seems to be being devalued in some English hospices. 14/10/2020
Spiritual Care promotion
Andy Barton, at Rowcroft Hospice, has shared some very useful spiritual care publicity – three leaflets and a YouTube video – designed for use with staff, families, and hospice promotion. You can find them all in our Practical Resources – Spiritual Care section. Given recent instances of a lack of spiritual care awareness, these are a valuable resource. 13/10/2020
COVID-EOLC England (NHS ENGLAND & NHS IMPROVEMENT – X24) Palliative and End of Life Care Biweekly Webinars
Karen Murphy was one of the speakers at the on October 15th, ‘Focusing on Ambition 3 – Maximising comfort and wellbeing’. If you wish to go on the mailing list to receive an invitation to these webinars, please contact the PEoLC Practitioners Network by emailing Sherree.Fagge@nhs.net. 06/10/2020
University of York research into children’s spiritual palliative care
Professor Bryony Beresford is leading a University of York research project into spiritual palliative care for children and young people. This is the first study of chaplaincy funded by the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research. You can find more information on our Research page. 02/10/2020
‘Hope in a Crisis’ reprint.
Vivienne Manley’s ‘Hope in a Crisis’ published back in the spring, has been much in demand. An updated version should be reprinted and available this month. Accessing this e-copy will let you see where you can put labels to personalise them for your own use. There are a few changes in order to make it more suitable for use with Staff. For more information, or to place an order, email Vivienne. 02/10/2020
Update on the Joint Chaplains Conference in September 2021
You may be aware of plans to hold a joint conference in the Autumn of 2021 (this would involve the CHCC and MHC as well, and is separate to our own arrangements in May). The latest proposal is to scale this back to a non-residential day conference, with online access. This would be more robust, and better able to cope with changes of circumstance between now and then, while still allowing chaplains from the different associations to meet together. We’ll keep you informed as things develop. 16/09/2020
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 Pasque Hospice, Luton, Beds