The unique role of a chaplain
Keywords:accountability, chaplain, religious, spiritual, NHS
In the current NHS climate of budgets, target setting and accountability, the ‘unique role' of the chaplain can be misunderstood, undervalued. The future of chaplaincy is in the balance! Do chaplains move with the times – accept change and development, work towards professional status or do they maintain the status quo – remain important to the well-being of the whole hospital community but fail to articulate this and risk extinction or at best benign tolerance? More than ever society demands that employees prove their value through research, audit and refining of practice. 21st Century NHS chaplains are part of this! Alongside retaining their distinctive role as those who are accountable to their faith communities chaplains need to ensure they articulate their distinctive role as those who care for the spiritual. This involves time, energy and action and being in many roles simultaneously. It involves being prepared to assess and review practice and above all to change.
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