News and Notices

Spiritual and pastoral care: an update

In order to provide holistic care to our patients, we need to consider the spiritual and pastoral needs of people who use our services. As we develop integrated service delivery, we will be changing the way we do this - replacing the role of the traditional hospital chaplain to meet the needs of people who are more likely to receive healthcare in their own homes. 

In the current year 2015/16 Dr Phil Henry (Derby Multi-faith Centre) produced a report which is available on MyDCHS. In this report the views of both staff and patients were considered.

On the basis of Dr Henry’s report, a new model was agreed that:

  • develops volunteer chaplains based in the community: providing pastoral and spiritual support

  • builds links between our hospitals and local faith communities / leaders

  • enhances the skills of the DCHS workforce

In the past some of our hospitals, but not all, had a hospital chaplain.  Over time each of those chaplains has left DCHS.  We now have no paid chaplains in the Trust.


  1. DCHS is developing links with faith leaders in our local communities, including through Derby Multi Faith Centre. In the County these predominantly with Christian (and mainly Anglican) churches, while in the City of Derby the profile of the communities is more diverse.

  2. Quality and Safe care champions in DCHS services are being identified for pastoral and spiritual needs.  Their role might be to oversee the use of the quiet spaces on our sites, or to raise awareness amongst colleagues about available resources and training. 

  3. We are aiming to develop quiet space for prayer or reflection on each of our hospital sites. There are potential benefits for patients, families, and staff. The provision of such space is already audited through PLACE assessment. 

  4. We aim to raise the profile of spiritual and pastoral needs in the organisation and through inclusion in future strategies and the profile of religious diversity in our Equality and Diversity developments

  5. End of Life care. There is a need to ensure that the End of Life training in DCHS includes spiritual care and equips staff to engage in sensitive and timely conversations. There are more resources on MyDCHS.

  6. Derby City Centre Chaplaincy (DCCC) are selecting, training and providing a network of volunteer chaplains Derby and Derbyshire.  Initially volunteer chaplains are working in Duffield and Belper and have started to take referrals from any member of the Integrated Community Team, linking most closely with the Care Coordinator in each practice. We aim that over the next 2-4 years we will cover every locality. 

Staff needs

It is acknowledged that working in healthcare makes specific demands on staff, who also have spiritual and pastoral needs.  The Trust’s strategy for Staff Wellbeing is led by Jamie Broadley.  There is a close link between the experience of staff and the experience of our patients.  Schwartz Rounds for example are designed to provide a supportive space for staff to reflect on the emotional impact of our work.  Links provided on MyDCHS could be accessed for the benefit of staff as well as for patients. Volunteer Chaplains would be very happy to provide support to staff in community teams.