Emerging Paradigm Shifts in Spiritual Care Services in Scotland


  • Cecelia Clegg University of Edinburgh




Assets, chaplaincy, co-production, health and social care strategy, policy, reflective practice, spiritual care


This article describes the profound re-focusing of spiritual care services in Scotland. The contemporary task of healthcare chaplains is about delivering strategic, relevant services which promote wellbeing in society; first, to shift the balance of care from acute institutions towards community-based work which reaches more people, and second, from un-wellness as deficit to promoting the assets of patients and their communities and so developing wellbeing and resilience. This article examines the contours of these paradigm shifts then identifies three discreet roots of these changes in emphasis: namely, the need to improve service delivery in the Health and Social Care sector; the need to promote healthy lifestyles and the need to reform the administration of public services in Scotland. A New Model of healthcare chaplaincy is outlined which requires reflective, flexible practitioners who first, in their own lives, are exploring how their values, beliefs, and experience influence their practice so they become safer and more effective. Second, help to strategically shape policy and systems to make sure that spiritual care is understood and integrated across Health and Social Services. And thirdly, carry specific leadership in connecting the drive to wellness and co-production in both primary and acute healthcare settings.

Author Biography

Cecelia Clegg, University of Edinburgh

Cecelia Clegg is a Scot, born in Peebles. She is a group facilitator, psychological counsellor, mediator and theologian. She worked between communities in Ireland (North and South) for 15 years and then lectured in Practical Theology at the University of Edinburgh for 10 years before retiring in August 2014. For over 25 years, she has facilitated a wide range of group processes, including organisational planning and visioning, mediation and conflict transformation processes at national, international and local levels. Since returning to Scotland she has worked extensively with NES, especially with the Leads of Spiritual Care in NHS Scotland. Her specialist areas include conflict transformation, reconciliation, pastoral care, professional ethics and sectarianism.


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How to Cite

Clegg, C. (2014). Emerging Paradigm Shifts in Spiritual Care Services in Scotland. Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, 2(1), 41–49. https://doi.org/10.1558/hscc.v2i1.41