Hospital chaplains’ vital role in fight against coronavirus
Hospital chaplains are providing vital support for patients and staff during trying times.
The team of three at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn are being called on more than ever in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic.
Stella Green, Mark Bredin and Lee Gilbert have taken on an extended role with the hospital in lockdown.
Lead chaplain Stella Green said: “Visiting restrictions as a result of coronavirus mean we are essentially replacing our patient’s family and friends. We are visiting many patients who are so pleased to have someone to sit and chat to and break up the loneliness, especially as they are missing their relatives.
“We want staff to use our space as somewhere to come to chill out and take a minute. The whole team is here to support our colleagues by lending a listening ear or a space away from their wards or departments. It’s important that during this time we support our staff, as well as our patients.”
A new “wobble box” initiative has been rolled out across the hospital, with many respite rooms set up across the hospital to help staff unwind, including at the Sacred Space.
Chaplain Mark Bredin said: “While all this is going on, it’s also important to remember that other things are still happening within the hospital. As a team, we are still caring for the people with other illnesses and requirements, whether that is end of life care or a listening ear at their bedside.”
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Group services for all faiths have been suspended until further notice due to social distancing guidelines.
But staff use the Sacred Space individually for prayer or as a place of quiet reflection.
The chaplaincy team has also set up a pastoral care line for staff, and is offering an extended service, running in-house Monday to Friday and out of hours via the hospital switchboard.
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