Hospital Chaplaincy in the Twenty-first Century: The Crisis of Spiritual Care on the NHS

Hospital Chaplaincy in the Twenty-first Century: The Crisis of Spiritual Care on the NHS

by Christopher Swift

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Overview

Issues of faith and spirituality have been resurgent in the UK since the opening of the twenty-first century. This book charts the impact of shifting attitudes towards spirituality through the experiences of health care chaplains. Rooted in a new and challenging interpretation of the chaplain's work in the past, the book moves on to describe a current crisis in the nature of spiritual care. Using the tools of practical theology to analyze these experiences, fundamental problems are identified for chaplains as they work within the culture of 'evidence based practice'. As the National Health Service struggles to balance its books in the face of national economic uncertainty, chaplains will continue to come under increasing levels of scrutiny. Some chaplains have faced the prospect of redundancy or cuts to their budgets, while a growing number of NHS Trusts no longer offer chaplaincy to patients out of hours. In this context the nature of chaplaincy itself has come into question, and rival models of the profession have emerged. Is chaplaincy a new and distinct profession within health care, based on evidence and available to all? Or is it State-funded religious activity, theoretically open to all but in practice utilized chiefly by the faithful few? In responding to these questions the book concludes with a vision of how chaplaincy can both maintain its integrity - and be a valued part of twenty-first century health care.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780754664161
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 04/28/2009
Series: Explorations in Practical, Pastoral and Empirical Theology
Pages: 212
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 20.00(d)

About the Author

The Revd Dr Christopher Swift is from the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, UK. He has been a Health Care Chaplain since 1994 and Head of Chaplaincy at Leeds Teaching Hospitals since 2001. He is a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Spirituality, Religion and Public Life at Leeds Metropolitan University and a past President of the College of Health Care Chaplains (2004-7).

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Paul Ballard; Preface; Introduction; A history of the chaplain; The chaplain's professionalization; Chaplaincy under New Labour; The battle of Worcester; The chaplain today: an auto-ethnography; Religion, secularization and spirituality; Theological voices and ventures; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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