Chaplaincy Cuts…What Cuts? David on Radio Hereford and Worcester


A report based conducted by the BBC via FOI requests has been published today about Chaplaincy provision within the NHS. It seems to show that:

39% of trusts had fewer chaplains in 2013 – or a lower Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) – than in 2009
47% of trusts had fewer chaplaincy hours
25% of trusts increased hours
The net total reduction of hours from 2009 to 2013 was 1,380 – a reduction of 8%

(See for the full report)

So at stupid O’clock in the morning I was invited on Howard and Toni’s Breakfast Show on Radio Hereford and Worcester. It was a good chance to fly the flag for chaplaincy, iron out misunderstandings of what chaplains do, and mention the support that chaplains have from Worcestershire Acute Trust. Whether I was successful or not is a moot point but for 7 days you can listen to it here: Click play and slide the control to 1 hr 44 minutes. Let me know what you think.

5 responses to “Chaplaincy Cuts…What Cuts? David on Radio Hereford and Worcester

  1. I don’t think anyone would dispute that Chaplains provide a useful service. However as I understand it the argument that the National Secular Society puts forward is that the service should be funded by the respective churches and not the NHS which I believe is in the region of £30million per year nationally. The debate therefore concerns the funding source not the utility per se.

    • Peter, you make a valid point and there is certainly a debate to be had about funding. Nevertheless, there is a fundamental issue to bear in mind, namely, that is that Chaplaincy provides spritual and emotional support for all faiths and none. This is beyond the bounds of the established church and specifice faith groups to provide, and we still live in a society in which the vast majority of people see themselves as spiritual beings and are not attached to a particular faith group. The NHS has a duty of care to provide spiritual support to patients and hence pays for this. Perhaps we should organise a debate on these issues- it might prove to be stimulating and enlightening. Whilst I respect the NSS’s position, I still think that as a group they have failed to understand the broad remit of chaplaincy within a, by and large, spiritual demographic. Interesting times. Thanks so much for your interest and the comment.

  2. Thanks very much for your response; I agree it is an interesting debate. I think many people will be surprised to learn from your post that the church does not want to be involved in the spiritual needs of those with faith and no faith who request spiritual support when in hospital. Has the church actually been approached to ask whether it would be prepared to fund the Chaplaincy service nationally to save the NHS £30million per year? If so what was its official answer? If not why not? Many thanks.

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