From: Thompson Catherine (NHS ENGLAND)
Sent: 07 June 2016 15:57
Subject: Chaplain recruitment
In recent days and weeks you have all received a letter from the British Humanist Association in relation to recruitment to Chaplaincy posts. We are mindful of the content and appreciate that for many of you this will have been unsettling and caused significant worry. Some of you will also have spoken to my colleagues Rev Debbie Hodge (Free Churches Group) or Tony Kyriakides-Yeldham (Advisers Panel) seeking advice and support with this matter. I am an experience of care lead at NHS England and have responsibility for overseeing chaplaincy and spiritual support in NHS services in England. I work closely with Debbie and the Healthcare Chaplaincy Faith and Belief Group (HCFBG).
By emailing you today, I seek to provide some support and guidance to help chaplaincy teams to move forward with the recruitment of chaplains. If you aware of others in a similar situation please do forward this on to them or ask them to get in touch with me.
I would advise that positive practice in recruitment of a chaplain would be to demonstrate that an equality analysis has been undertaken prior to advertisement of the post. This assessment would consider the religious and spiritual needs of the general population that your hospital serves, the in-patient population (presuming you are an in-patient based service), and your organisation’s workforce. You would also consider the existing religious / belief and skill mix within your team. This process would most likely be done in conjunction with your Human Resource and Equality and Diversity departments. You will also need to consider whether there are any genuine occupational requirements for the post to be advertised to be able to meet service requirements, and this will help you to identify whether you have a justifiable need to advertise for a chaplain of a specific religion or belief.
Over the coming weeks I will be working with the HCFBG and others to develop some more specific advice which will be sent to you and circulated within chaplaincy networks. I am also considering approaches to help support the recruitment process in the longer term and will keep you informed of these.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss this further please do feel free to contact me
Experience of Care Lead | Patient Experience Team | NHS England