Turning the Tide: Establishing Spiritual Care in General Practice.

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This conference is presented by the Association of Chaplains in General Practice (ACGP).

'Patients expect GPs to heal their souls', so said an article in The Times (18th April 2018). It continued: GPs are increasingly seeing patients with complex problems driven by social and emotional difficulties. 'There is an urgent need to recognise the value of community, connection and self-esteem and look at meaning and purpose in life'.

'Should GPs provide spiritual care?' is also debated professionally (BJGP December 2017) where it is stated that 'spiritual care can be defined as care that recognises and responds to the needs of the human spirit when faced with trauma, ill health, or sadness. It includes the need for meaning and self-worth, to express oneself, for faith support or simply for a sensitive listener. It is usually given in a one-to-one relationship, is person centred, and makes no assumptions about personal conviction or life orientation. Spiritual care is not religious and it is an important aspect of holistic patient care'.

  • Why has there been such resistance to the concept of spiritual care being part of modern scientific healthcare?
  • Are there examples of spiritual care actually being part of the holistic care which General Practice aspires to offer?
  • If so has it been shown to be of value and how is it organised?
  • Since 2015 Chaplaincy in General Practice has been recognised as part of the range of Chaplaincy in UK, but what kinds of people provide this service and how can their work be accredited by professional standards?

This one day conference will consider these issues and will create the opportunity to learn from those actively involved in offering spiritual care in British General Practice.