Survey highlights myth of multi-faith chaplaincy in hospitals

September 10, 2004

Hospital patients and staff of non-Christian religions have limited access to religious and spiritual care, a University of Edinburgh Professor has highlighted in this week's British Medical Journal (11 September, 2004).

A survey of 72 hospitals in England and Wales reveals that although more than 54 of them had a dedicated placed of worship for Christians, only four had similar facilities for Buddhists; six for Hindus; four for Jews; 13 for Muslims; five for Sikhs and four for other faith groups. Fourteen hospitals had facilities for gender segregation in prayer areas and 34 had facilities for performing ablution before prayers.

Professor Aziz Sheikh, Professor of Primary Care Research and Development at the University of Edinburgh, with colleagues from hospitals in the Midlands and London and a researcher from the Muslim Council of Britain, undertook the survey of hospitals chosen from all NHS hospital trusts in England and Wales.

He said: "The Human Rights Act 1998 and the Patient's Charter place a legal responsibility on public bodies to ensure the rights of individuals to religious observance. However, concern had been expressed that access to spiritual care in hospitals for those of non-Christian faith is limited, so we carried out this survey. Our findings show comparative disadvantage to non-Christians in relation to access to space for worship, chaplaincy staff and quality of chaplaincy care.

"There does, however, appear to be some signs of progress as shown by recently published Department of Health guidance on developing chaplaincy services that meet the needs of all faith communities. We also take limited encouragement from the finding that nine out of the ten hospitals surveying the quality of chaplaincy care reported to have made attempts to hear the views of non-Christian faith groups. Whilst welcoming these developments, it is likely that multi-faith chaplaincy provision still remains more of a myth than a reality for the majority of the three million Britons belonging to non-Christian groups."
-end-


University of Edinburgh

Related Hospitals Articles from Brightsurf:

'Best' hospitals should be required to deliver tobacco treatment
A UCLA-led report published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine exposes what the authors call a weakness in the high-profile 'Best Hospitals Honor Roll' published annually by US News and World Report.

Veterans undergoing elective PCI at community hospitals may have increased chance of death compared to those treated at VA hospitals
Veterans who underwent elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for stable angina at a community facility were at a 33% increased hazard, or chance, of death compared to patients treated within the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System, according to an analysis of nearly 9,000 veterans published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

How should hospitals ask patients for donations?
A new study looks for the first time at patients' views of hospital fundraising, including legally allowable practices that encourage physicians to work with their hospital's fundraising professionals.

Proximity of hospitals to mass shootings in US
Nontrauma center hospitals were the nearest hospitals to most of the mass shootings (five or more people injured or killed by a gun) that happened in the US in 2019.

'Five star' hospitals often provide fewer services than other hospitals, new data suggests
If you're looking for a top-notch hospital with a wide range of services, narrowing your list to hospitals with a five-star patient experience rating might lead you astray.

Costs of care similar or lower at teaching hospitals compared to non-teaching hospitals
Total costs of care are similar or somewhat lower among teaching hospitals compared to non-teaching hospitals among Medicare beneficiaries treated for common medical and surgical conditions, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H.

How common, preventable are sepsis-associated deaths in hospitals?
This study estimates how common sepsis-related deaths are in hospitals and how preventable those deaths might be.

Veterans health administration hospitals outperform non-VHA hospitals in most markets
In a new study, researchers from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the White River Junction VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont, used the most current publicly available data to compare health outcomes for VA and non-VA hospitals within 121 local healthcare markets that included both a VA medical center and a non-VA hospital.

Tele-ERs can help strengthen rural hospitals
A new study from the University of Iowa finds rural hospitals that use tele-medicine to back up their emergency room health care providers save money and find it easier to recruit new physicians.

Hospitals may take too much of the blame for unplanned readmissions
A new study out of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reveals that the preventability of readmissions changes over time: readmissions within the first week after discharge are often preventable by the hospital, whereas readmissions later are often related to patients' difficultly accessing outpatient clinics.

Read More: Hospitals News and Hospitals Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.