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1.

  Religious and cultural observance should never be forced on patients or their relatives in anyway. However, religious and cultural beliefs can often be very important. A patient's religious affiliation, if any, should be recorded as early as possible. Patients or their relatives should always be offered the opportunity to see a spiritual leader or religious representative of their choice.
 

2.

  The Trust Pastoral and Spiritual Care Team provides 24 hour cover. Members of the Team represent the Church of England, Roman Catholic and Free Church denominations. They can be contacted at any time through the hospital switchboards.
 

3.

  The switchboards also hold a list of religious leaders of other denominations and faiths. The Trust Pastoral Care Team can also be contacted for advice on how to get in touch with the patient's own priest or religious leader.
 

4.

  If there is uncertainty about how the patient's religious requirements can most helpfully be met, it is best first to ask the patient, or the patient's family, exactly what help they would like. Individuals will vary in their expression of their faith, and some will find religious observance more important than others.

A blue A4 folder entitled ‘Meeting the Patient’s Religious Needs’ is available in all wards and clinical areas, and the information it contains is also reproduced on the website and Trust Intranet. The folder provides useful but basic guidance about the way in which a patient belonging to a particular religious faith might express their need for religious observance whilst in hospital.
 

5.

  The Pastoral and Spiritual Care Team is also happy to be available to those who do not profess a specific faith or denomination. Patients or families who do not hold a particular belief sometimes appreciate the offer of prayer, especially perhaps when a patient is close to death, or after a patient has died. This opportunity should always be offered.
 

6.

  The Pastoral and Spiritual Care Team is also happy to facilitate a pastoral ministry which may not necessarily include religious ritual of any kind. If patients or relatives are distressed, struggling with problems related to their illness, or with more long-term issues, they may value the input of someone who is neither a clinician, nor closely involved with them in a personal way.

 

Latest News

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Spelthorne buys hospital trust’s surplus car park for housing

Spelthorne Borough Council has announced the purchase of a surplus car park on the site of Ashford Hospital's old incinerator with the aim of developing the land for much needed housing.

 

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Relaunch of the Footsteps Pathway

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at St Peter’s Hospital are relaunching the Footsteps Pathway, and in line with the NICU philosophy of family centred care and working in partnership with parents, we are providing an accessible and easy to use resource pack.

 

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Trust research recognised

On Friday 22nd February 2019, Chief Executives of NHS Trusts, researchers and patients came together to celebrate the excellent health and social care research taking place within the region at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN) Kent, Surrey and Sussex Awards.

 

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Introducing the Junior Doctors Assistants

It’s been over 20 years since the first Medical Support Workers were employed at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals to assist Junior Doctors. The role was created in order to aid Junior Doctors of some of their administrative duties and enable them to spend more time on the wards ensuring that patients are seen quickly and that follow up care is organised efficiently.

 

The Weekly Message

Discussing Death

Welcome to this month’s video message, which focuses on a very special and important topic, in a different format which I hope you will all enjoy. This month I was joined by colleagues from across the Trust to discuss the important subject of death. This was inspired by work that we’re currently undertaking to learn from deaths but also after having listened myself to the BBC Radio 4 series ‘we need to talk about death’ ... watch this week's message