The Francis Report (2013)
Neo-Pharisaism in the NHS?
Keywords:Chaplains, Francis Report, NHS, Pharisees, practical theology, spiritual care
This article explores the extent to which a theological concept can guide secular practice. I explore the possibility that excessive regulation undermines compassion. Using Lartey’s pastoral cycle, I compare the mind-set of the Pharisees in Jesus’ time with regulation in today’s NHS. Employing a deliberately provocative style and comparing social processes across millennia, the article challenges many of our assumptions around regulation. It is potentially relevant to other institutions, whether public, private, voluntary, or faith sector. It suggests that theological and pastoral reflection can contribute to better practice in secular organizations. Lartey’s pastoral cycle provides the structure. The article states that theological reflection can prevent us from blind alleys in healthcare. It favours returning to values yet recognizes that some regulation is necessary.
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