The Association of Chaplaincy in General Practice exists to enable Chaplaincy in General Practice to be delivered to recommended national standards. It does this through:
- promoting awareness of chaplaincy in General Practice
- facilitating the setting up of this service within General Practices
- providing advice on training and professional support to those providing chaplaincy
What is Chaplaincy?
Chaplaincy is a modern term with ancient roots. It conveys the concept of caring for fellow human beings, motivated by values which originally arose from an awareness of God and a view of human life that can be profoundly wholesome when lived in harmony with God’s nature. Today there are chaplains of a variety of faiths, in a wide variety of spheres such as industry, business and the armed forces, as well as in hospitals, where they listen to, care for and guide people whose lives may be turbulent. More recently chaplaincy has been introduced to General Practice.
Chaplaincy in General Practice
British General Practice is a universally accessible service to which people can turn in their distress. Chaplaincy has existed in General Practice since the late 1990s and is increasingly recognised as a valued Listening and Guidance service for people. It provides prompt access to high calibre listening that offers acceptance, support, signposting and a safe place for patients to explore the issues which are important to them. Whether or not people perceive that religion or spirituality is of personal relevance, this service provides the opportunity for patients or staff to explore any issues which impact their health and wellbeing. Taking this opportunity to consider what makes life meaningful and what can provide inner strength, may be profoundly helpful.
Chaplaincy has traditionally offered pastoral, spiritual and religious care. Chaplaincy in General Practice does not focus on any one religion and emphasises pastoral and spiritual care. This is different from counselling. When General Practice Chaplaincy is part of a wellbeing team offering a range of talking therapies, the differing features of each service can be utilised to maximal benefit in caring for people.
Chaplaincy in NHS General Practice is already provided by Chaplains for Wellbeing or Community Chaplaincy Listeners in several parts of the UK.