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NHS: Ministers of Religion

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding is available for the support and recruitment of multi-faith chaplains in hospitals in 2009-10. (306924)

National health service trusts are responsible for delivering religious and spiritual care in a way that meets the diverse needs of their patients. We are committed to the principle of ensuring that patients and staff in the NHS have access to the spiritual care that they want, whatever faith or belief system they follow. The Department recognises the important role played by faith communities in supporting the NHS and has made available a total of £186,000 from central funding to support a multi-faith based approach to chaplaincy.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department’s policy is on support for multi-faith chaplaincy in hospitals; and if he will make a statement. (307001)

The Department recognises that we live in a diverse society and is committed to responding sensitively and appropriately to the needs of patients and staff of diverse backgrounds, including faith communities. All national health service organisations must take account of the religious, cultural and dietary requirements of the multi-cultural and spiritually diverse communities they serve. The delivery of multi-faith chaplaincy in hospitals is a matter for local determination. However, we expect NHS trusts to follow the guidance “NHS Chaplaincy: Meeting the Religious and Spiritual Needs of Patients and Staff (November 2003)”, a copy of which has already been placed in the Library.