How many wards and departments know that the Trust has someone who will visit and sit with Pagan patients and their families?
Pagan is an umbrella term. Asatru, Heathen, Druid, Wiccan are the most common belief systems and lifestyles.
The below blog was written by Leonore Newson, a member of our Faiths and Beliefs (FaB) Staff Network, who works as a Staff Nurse at UHP:
A few years ago, when I returned to work in Derriford as a staff nurse, I could see that the spiritual needs of most of our patients were extremely well cared for by our wonderful Chaplaincy team. I wondered though about the needs of our Pagan patients, so approached the Chaplains and completed the pastoral visitors course here . This course gives great insight and prepares you well for the role of a hospital chaplaincy visitor. Since then , the Chaplains have held my contact details , so that if any Pagan patient would like someone of their own faith / belief , then I would go, regardless of time of day or night , if I was in Plymouth .
I have studied with and belong to The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids and a celebrant for all rites of passage from baby naming to funerals. I have been contacted by the chaplains and directly when patients have wanted someone to be there with them whilst they are in hospital .
It's good to have an awareness of patients with spiritual beliefs outside the mainstream and know that the Trust has an all-inclusive policy and someone who can be there for these patients . Just contact the Chaplaincy department and they will forward the details to me if a visit is wanted.
I received this recently from a relative who is a former Derriford ITU nurse and this just sums up what I try to do .
Pastoral care is a hugely important component of holistic care when someone is in hospital. This is even more so when someone is critically ill fighting for their life. When my mum was recently in hospital in ITU her faith as a druid was incredibly important to her. The importance of Leonore coming to ITU to visit mum was huge and also I didn’t realise how comforting I would find this as a relative. I found I looked forward to her visits and found her words so kind.
When we think of pastoral support, we may think of the faiths that we are all aware about on a daily basis. Being a Druid / pagan, this may not be a faith that people may be very aware of and I would like to raise awareness of this important and beautiful faith and pastoral care that was provided to my mum and myself and sister right up until my mums final hours.
Thank you Leonore for the fantastic and vital service you provide to our loved ones and relatives in the hospital and beyond in our time of need.Read " How many wards and departments know that…"