There is an increasing interest in Primary Care Chaplaincy, which complements the care given to patients and can reduce the demand on other services.
The Association of Chaplaincy in General Practice exists to:
What is Chaplaincy in General Practice?
- Define and raise awareness of best practice in Primary Care Chaplaincy.
- Enable the development of Chaplaincy in General Practice for the wellbeing of the public through providing advice, training, resources and research.
- Support those involved with GP Chaplaincy.
- It provides prompt access to a service in which people in distress can be truly listened to.
- It offers acceptance, support, guidance and sign-posting.
- It provides a safe place for patients to explore any issues which impact their health and wellbeing.
- It gives an opportunity to consider what makes life meaningful and what can provide inner strength and hope.
- It is appropriate for everyone whether or not they perceive religion or spirituality to be of personal relevance, and is appropriate for people of all faiths and beliefs.
- As a 'talking therapy' it has been shown to both reduce referrals to, and prepare people for better use of, other psychological therapies.
- It offers staff support in primary care.
Chaplains listen attentively to an individual's physical, emotional, social, cognitive and spiritual experiences and needs, while seeking to understand their lived experience.
Chaplains understand that 'spiritual needs' relate to a person's need for meaning and purpose, love and belonging, and hope, whether or not these are expressed in terms of a religious faith and that the health of our inner self affects our wellbeing in every respect.
Chaplaincy in General Practice seeks to help individuals to live in more holistic, integrated ways and so improve their health and wellbeing.