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Staff Stories


Keith, Chaplain

07 March 2018

The Patient and Family Support Team offers psycho/social/spiritual support to our patients and families: palliative care is about the holistic care of our patients, ensuring that - as best as we are able - their needs are met, or they are helped and supported when things might be at low ebb.  

There are six of us in the team, a Social Worker, three psychologists, an administrator and me, plus we have the help of four Bereavement Support Volunteers and six Chaplaincy Volunteers.   

When you visit, you are most likely to find me in the Patient and Family Support Team office or the Chaplaincy office which is near the Bistro, not by design for the food you understand, but for its central point in the building. 

Part of my role is to lead our team and to see that together we are as effective as possible in relieving distress and supporting our patients and their families.  Equally I might be seen speaking to patients or their family in the inpatient unit, or leading a group in Day Therapy or the Sanctuary, or facilitating our monthly group for bereaved relatives. I might even be seen walking towards the car park when I am soon to be visiting one of our patients who has requested some spiritual support in the community, either at home or in a care home. 

These are often profound encounters with patients and their families who are contemplating some of the biggest issues in life. For some the need is for religious support, and we have contacts with people of most religions in the vicinity who can help if I can’t. More than that needs are more broadly spiritual which is quite a different thing. Spiritual needs and religious needs are not the same. 

It’s a real privilege, having that opportunity to talk to patients about the deepest things, to hear and know peoples deepest thoughts and to help them resolve some of their concerns which we believe help them to find some relief both physically and spiritually.  



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