Mark Evans
Mark Evans
01 June 2012
01 January 0001
01 June 2013


1.1 Holistic care involves care for the physical, mental, physiological, social and spiritual aspects of the person. All five contribute to the health and well being of individuals or a community.

1.2 NHS Fife’s Department of Spiritual and Pastoral Care provides a range of support to patients, carers and staff. The work of the Department is informed by the Governments “Chief Executive Letter (2008) 49 – Spiritual Care” and is further supported by the “NHS Fife Spiritual Care Strategy” and will continue to be informed by local and national developments.

1.3 NHS Fife affirms the importance of spiritual care, and will seek to meet the spiritual care needs of patients, carers and staff.

1.4 The Department of Spiritual Care provides a service of spiritual and pastoral care, to patients, carers, volunteers and staff throughout NHS Fife.

1.5 It is recognised that everyone has spiritual needs that require to be met wherever and whenever they are in the care of NHS Fife. NHS Fife recognises the varying needs of those of different beliefs and faiths, and of those who would not wish to be associated with any particular group.

1.6 The Department seeks to establish, and develop, mutually beneficial partnerships between patients, their families and those delivering healthcare services which respect individual needs and values and the delivery of which reflects key themes highlighted within NHS Scotland’s Quality Strategy e.g. person-centred care.

1.7 This Procedure aims to provide a consistent and high quality approach to service delivery by the Department Of Spiritual Care within NHS Fife. These aims are informed by NHS Fife Spiritual Care Strategy and aligned with the Chaplaincy Code of Conduct.


2.1 The Department provides a Fife wide service supporting the provision of spiritual and pastoral care to patients, carers, volunteers and staff.


3.1 The terms “spirituality” and “spiritual care” cover those areas of our human experience where we feel connected to a larger dimension of meaning and understanding. It extends beyond the boundaries of formalised religion and comes into focus in times of emotional distress, illness, loss, bereavement and death.

3.2 Spiritual Care has been defined as person centred care and through affirmation, enables a person to make the best use of all their personal and spiritual resources in facing and coping with the doubts, anxieties and questions which often accompany ill health and suffering.

3.3 Spiritual care is not necessarily religious and is usually given in a one-to-one relationship, being completely person-centred and makes no assumptions about personal conviction or life orientation.


4.1 Spiritual Care is provided, in the context of person-centred care to all, acknowledging diversity of belief and faith and recognising that each person has needs far beyond the physical.

4.2 NHS Fife recognises that all staff have an important role to play in the provision of            Spiritual Care as this is key in providing holistic care.

4.3 Healthcare Chaplains will contribute to the implementation of the Boards Spiritual Care Strategy and ensure that spiritual care is provided in ways that are equitable, effective and safe.

4.4 The Head of Spiritual Care will lead the development of the service and manage   performance appraisal and professional development of members of the Department.

4.5 The Department is operationally responsible, through the Head of Spiritual Care, to the Director of Nursing, Therapies, and Rehabilitation.

4.6 The Head of Spiritual Care will report strategically to the Executive Lead and to the Board through the PFPI Committee.


5.1 The Department of Spiritual Care will:

  • Be impartial, accessible and available 24 hours to persons of all belief communities and none.
  • Respect the wide ranging beliefs, lifestyles and cultural backgrounds of communities within NHS Fife.
  • Be characterised by openness, sensitivity, compassion and the capacity to make and maintain attentive, helpful, supportive and caring relationships with patients, carers and all staff groups.
  • Respond to referrals from staff, patients and carers and respond to direction from staff and individual patients or families when particular needs arise.
  • Visit patients, carers or staff within their own home (where appropriate), complying with NHS Fife Lone Working Policy.
  • Contact, where requested, leaders of different belief and faith groups and arrange visits from representatives of such groups, where appropriate.
  • Ensure the rights of patients to be visited (or not visited) by any chaplain, religious leader or faith community representative.
  • Act as a significant resource for education, information and support to the organisation.
  • Provide an informed resource on ethical, spiritual and religious matters.
  • Support, participate and lead education sessions and training courses when requested or when a need is identified and will participate in Induction / Orientation programmes for all new staff.

5.2 Referrals to the Department can be made by contacting a Healthcare Chaplain through the appropriate extension number. APPENDIX 1

5.3 Where a more immediate response is required or during “Out of Hours”, the Duty Chaplain can be contacted though main-switchboard. APPENDIX 2

5.4 Healthcare Chaplains will maintain accurate records (See standards) APPENDIX 3

5.5 ‘Sacred Spaces’ (e.g. Sanctuary, quiet room, Chapel) are provided by NHS Fife for the benefit of the whole hospital community. The Department will manage such ‘Sacred Spaces’ on behalf of the Organisation. Acts of worship or times of reflection may be arranged by the Department as appropriate. APPENDIX 4

5.6 The Department of Spiritual Care will work in partnership with local belief and faith communities to provide appropriate religious and cultural care as appropriate.

5.7 The Department will develop and promote good relationships with all local belief and faith group communities ensuring inclusive partnerships when developing and delivering Spiritual Care services APPENDIX 5

5.8 The Department will support, assist and advise, where requested, all local belief and faith group communities in caring for members of their own communities while in the care of NHS Fife.


Delivery of services will be in accordance with:

  • CEL (2008) 49 Spiritual Care
  • NHS Fife Spiritual Care Strategy (2010 -2013)
  • Standards for NHS Scotland Chaplaincy Services 2007
  • Spiritual and Religious Care Capabilities and Competences for Healthcare Chaplains
  • Spiritual Care Matters: An Introductory Resource for all NHS Staff
  • NHS Scotland Quality Strategy

The Department would wish to acknowledge the permission of NHS Tayside’s Department of Spiritual Care to adapt their ‘Partnership Agreement’ document.