Local Charity Holds Multi-Faith Course to Encourage Spiritual Care Across End-of-Life Services

A local charity is reaching out to other local care professionals and multi-faith leaders for a new course aimed to improving spiritual care at the end of someone’s life.

Havens Hospices hosted its first ‘Improving the quality of spiritual care’ course on Wednesday 18th September, to help those working in palliative care learn the definition and meaning of spiritual care through the sharing of other people’s experiences.

The charity, which includes Fair Havens, Little Havens and The J’s, invited leaders from a variety of faiths and non-faith backgrounds, including Simon O’Donoghue from the Humanist Oganisation, to join them for the day as speakers and experts on their multi-faith panel.

The discussions gave attendees a chance to improve their knowledge of what spirituality might mean to different people and how to provide pastoral and spiritual care regardless of faith.

Delegates also had the opportunity to share their experiences of spiritual care in their daily work, look at the complex and diverse nature of spirituality and also learn about how it plays a part in supporting and caring for everyone in the family thanks to guest speaker Dee Anderson, whose daughter Katie was cared for and died at Little Havens.

Liz Brewer, Clinical Nurse Practice Facilitator at Havens Hospices organised the training day which was well attended by staff from across the charity and members of the wider palliative care community – some even travelling all the way from Wales.

Liz explained, “We wanted to hold this study day for those working in palliative care because caring for someone with a life-limiting illness and their families is about caring for physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs.

“I’d like to thank everyone who joined us throughout the day to speak or take part on our multi-faith panel and for encouraging healthy discussions around providing spiritual care as part of the wider care of patients. We hope that everyone who joined us felt empowered to explore the concept of spirituality and found ways to adopt spiritual care in their daily work going forward.”

Rev John Kennett, Chaplain at Havens Hospices, said, “As we now move forward into a new era at Havens Hospices, it was really good to celebrate the diversity of our community as well as the diversity of spirituality. I’d like to thank everyone who joined us for the day, especially my colleagues from the faith sector. It was certainly an enlightening day and I am sure that many of us came away with new approaches to spirituality which will mean we can support far more people in the future.”

Course attendee Jane Fieldson works as a Counsellor for Havens Hospices. “As a counsellor, I found this course helpful because in my role it so important to consider a variety of beliefs when exploring the impact of grief and bereavement. Especially in terms of how best to support them by exploring the various rituals or practices of the different religions, I do feel better equipped to support clients who do have a religious belief.

“I particularly enjoyed the multi-faith panel because it gave us all an opportunity to really ask the questions we needed to improve our care capabilities. I also thought it was good that non-religious people were also fairly represented in the training and I really liked the Humanist presentation and learnt a lot about supporting on a spiritual level regardless of belief.”

Havens Hospices run a variety of courses throughout the year, which are open to anyone working across the healthcare and palliative care sector, to find out more about these courses please click here.

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