Latest Issue: Vol 4, No 2 (2016) RSS2 logo

Health and Social Care Chaplaincy

Editor in Chief
Meg Burton, RDaSH, Tickhill Road Hospital, Doncaster, UK

Lindsay B. Carey, La Trobe University, Australia
Chris Swift, Chaplaincy for Methodist Homes, United Kingdom
John Swinton, University of Aberdeen, UK

Book Review Editor
Mark Newitt
Send Books for Review to: HSCC/Reviews
Chaplaincy Department
Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Glossop Road
S10 2JF
United Kingdom

Health and Social Care Chaplaincy is a peer-reviewed, international journal that assists health and social care chaplains to explore the art and science of spiritual care within a variety of contexts. The journal was founded in 2013 through the merger of the Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy (issn:1748-801X) and the Scottish Journal of Healthcare Chaplaincy (issn:1463-9920) . It continues to be the official journal of the College of Health Care Chaplains and members of the society receive the journal as part of their annual membership. For more details on membership subscriptions, please click on the 'members' button at the top of this page. Back issues of both previous journals are being loaded onto this website (see Archives) and online access to these back issues is included in all institutional subscriptions.

Health and Social Care Chaplaincy is a multidisciplinary forum for the discussion of a range of issues related to the delivery of spiritual care across various settings: acute, paediatric, mental health, palliative care and community. It encourages a creative collaboration and interface between health and social care practitioners in the UK and internationally and consolidates different traditions of discourse and communication research in its commitment to an understanding of psychosocial, cultural and ethical aspects of healthcare in contemporary societies. It is responsive to both ecumenical and interfaith agendas as well as those from a humanist perspective.

The journal focuses on ensuring that chaplains have the essential knowledge, skills and character required to perform chaplaincy services in a range of health and social care contexts. It fosters ethical practice; enhanced discourse and communication skills; philosophical and critical understanding; proficiency in assessment, intervention and evaluation; research literacy; team working and awareness of the contribution of other disciplines in the delivery of health and social care. It enables chaplains to offer staff support, enhance organisational spirituality and contribute to health and wellbeing in their communities.

The journal strives to bring the best practitioners and academics in the field into critical dialogue and also sets aside a place to encourage first time authors and reflective practitioners.

The editors are supported by an international, interdisciplinary advisory board.

Potential contributors should review the Guidelines for Submission on the For Authors page. Submissions should be made online.

Indexing and Abstracting
European Reference Index/ERIH Plus
Social Science Index and Abstracts/ProQuest

Publication and Frequency: 2 issues per volume year, May and November
ISSN 2051-5553 (print)
ISSN 2051-5561 (online)


HSCC 5.1 (2017)

Table of Contents

Meg Burton

Spiritual guidance of patients, families and the medical staff in end of life situations
Edina A. Farkas
What is the distinctiveness of paediatric chaplaincy? Findings from a systematic review of the literature
Paul Nash, Wilf McSherry
A study to determine nursing staff’s perception of spiritual care on Haematology, Oncology and Elderly Care wards
Wanda Janetta Neary, Valerie Hillier, Derek Fraser
Hospice Volunteers’ Spiritual Care Training: A Discussion of Core Competencies and Course Aims
Margit Gratz, Traugott Roser, Piret Paal
Completing the Theory Practice Circle
Debbie Hodge
Why the Delivery of Religious and Spiritual Support to People of any Faith and None in the Last Days and Hours of Life by a Chaplain is Significant
Giselle Rusted
End of Life Care: what is important for me and for us
Pia Matthews
The Locum Life in Spiritual Health Care
Gail Harrison
Chaplains, History and the Theology of R.A. Lambourne: a Response to Elements of the Scottish NHS Policy on Spirituality
Jenifer Rachel Booth

Book Reviews
Gleeson, The Pastoral Caregiver’s Casebook, Volumes 1-4
Reviewed by Carl Aiken, Allison Cline-Dean, Duncan MacLaren
Dobson, Health as a Virtue, Thomas Aquinas and the Practice of Habits of Health
Reviewed by Lynn Bassett
Hodge, Spiritual Assessment in Social Work and Mental Health Practice
Reviewed by Mark Cobb
Sellers and Moss, Learning with the Labyrinth: Creating Reflective Space in Higher Education
Reviewed by Bronwen Gray
Harshaw, God Beyond Words : Christian Theology and the Spiritual Experiences of People with Profound Intellectual Disabilities
Reviewed by Anthony Kramers
Noble, Gray and Johnston, Critical Supervision for the Human Services: A Social Model to Promote Learning and Value-based Practice
Reviewed by Michael Paterson
Frame, Moral injury: Unseen wounds in an age of barbarism
Reviewed by Chris Swift

Send Books for Review to: HSCC/Reviews
Chaplaincy Department
Royal Hallamshire Hospital
Glossop Road
S10 2JF
United Kingdom

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Supporting Spiritual Engagement for People Living with Dementia

The article lays out the results from an extensive literature review exploring the spiritual and religious lives of people living with dementia. The ways in which informal spiritual practices such as prayer, praise and worship can enhance people’s spiritual lives are outlined. Alongside formal spiritual practices the article highlights that more generically spiritual things such as finding meaning, forgiveness, acceptance, reminiscence and value are crucial dimensions of the spiritual lives of people living with dementia. It concludes by noting the importance of using a multi-sensory approach which enables individuals to connect with their spirituality in more concrete, tangible ways.
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Deterritorializing Dementia: A Review Essay of John Swinton’s Dementia: Living in the Memories of God

One of John Swinton’s objectives in his recent book, Dementia: Living in the Memories of God (2012), is to “deterritorialize” dementia: dementia is not the privileged domain of the neurologist. Following Tom Kitwood (1997), Swinton argues that dementia is as much relational and social as it is neurological. But he does warn against the moral implications of a radical relational approach. The belief that people are kept in the memories of God offers the only adequate description and approach to dementia. This review will present Swinton’s argument and raise critical questions about his understanding of the hegemonic role of theology.
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Knowing God in Dementia: What Happens to Faith When You Can No Longer Remember?

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Reminiscence with People Living with Dementia: A Personal Reflection on its Potential to Do Harm

This article reflects on “reminiscence” in dementia care from a personal perspective. It warns of the potential for harm when people who may have lived through painful experiences are encouraged to remember their early life. The author recommends that reminiscence should always take place as a shared activity within caring relationships and advises caution in using it as a therapeutic tool or intervention.
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Storytelling and Spiritual Care

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Most Viewed Articles


A Buddhist perspective on Health and Spirituality

This article gives a brief overview of some of the basic tenets of Buddhism. Its particular emphasis is upon Buddhist expressions of spirituality, as they are likely to be met with in a healthcare setting. Included are guidelines on diet, attitudes to medicine, and beliefs and traditions around death and dying.
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Re-evaluating Chaplaincy: To Be, or Not…

Healthcare is a dynamic and evolving culture within which chaplaincy has continually adapted to maintain professional relevance and respect. Over time, forms of chaplaincy have emerged as responses to changes in culture: multi-faith chaplaincy and the subtle shift in focus from religious care to spiritual care being two examples. However, adaptation impacts on the character of chaplaincy and questions its core values. Outcome Oriented Chaplaincy (OOC) is a response to the “paradigm shift” in healthcare chaplaincy that aims to integrate assessment, intervention, outcome evaluation and care planning into the chaplain’s role. OOC seems perfectly adapted to the culture of contemporary market-driven healthcare; however, the values underwriting this culture are being questioned, and their impact on professional values challenged. This paper accepts OOC has much to offer chaplaincy, but calls for a critical engagement with the model, arguing that the demand to remain relevant to contemporary healthcare culture should not be at the expense of person-centred, person-focused values of compassion, dignity and respect embodied within the presence model of spiritual care.
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Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE): A Reflection

Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a widely used educational programme in many parts of the world. This article is a reflection on the author’s personal experience of CPE, together with some very brief historical data, and approved quotes from the reflections of a small group of participants in a CPE module held in Scotland in the Autumn of 2002. It is offered to stir interest in CPE, rather than to give a deeply informative description of the process.
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Caring that is genuinely person-centred and truly compassionate can be difficult in a forensic mental health context. Whilst our professional roles indicate that we need to be kind to offenders no matter what they may have done or how they behave, the question of whether and how we should be compassionate is more complex. Kindness is a personal quality that enables an individual to be sensitive to the needs of others and to take personal action to endeavour to meet those needs. Compassion has to do with a deep awareness of the suffering of another accompanied by the wish to relieve it. Compassion differs from kindness in that its focus is primarily on the alleviation of suffering. Compassion is precisely what many offenders don’t appear to have and yet, compassion is precisely what they often require. In this paper I will explore the complex tension between kindness and compassion and its relationship to spiritual care, with a view to opening up some creative conversations that are theoretically interesting and practically significant for those who offer and receive care within a forensic mental health context.
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