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Hospitals: Ministers of Religion

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 18th July 2007, Official Report, column 456W, on Hospitals: Ministers of religion, what guidance he has issued on the responsibilities of NHS trusts to provide for the spiritual care of patients; and when budgetary control was devolved to NHS trusts in relation to these matters. (154317)

The Department issued guidance to national health service trusts in November 2003. “Meeting the Religious and Spiritual Needs of Patients and Staff” sets out a framework for the context and provision of chaplaincy and spiritual care services throughout the NHS that meet the needs of today's multi-cultural and spiritually diverse society.

NHS organisations have always been responsible for the provision of chaplaincy and spiritual care services. Funding for this is built into financial allocations to primary care trust, who commission hospital services on behalf of patients. “Shifting the Balance of Power”, published in 2002, empowered NHS trusts to give front line staff more say in how resources are allocated and services are delivered locally.