King's Lynn chaplains boost support for NHS
The chaplaincy team at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn are finding new ways to provide support for NHS staff, who may be feeling hard-pressed by the Covid-19 virus.
“The NHS staff are getting tired,” said lead chaplain Stella Green, “and some are anxious – particularly BME staff, who are thought to be particularly susceptible to catching the virus.
“Visiting restrictions as a result of coronavirus mean we are essentially replacing our patients’ 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.
“Relatives are still welcome to come and visit patients who are at the end of their life. And we wait to hear, as we enter Phase 2 of the Covid 19 emergency, what the future advice will be as the hospital begins to return to some of its more normal activities.”
The chaplaincy team – Stella Green, Mark Bredin and Lee Gilbert - have thankfully remained coronavirus-free. “We didn’t want to use PPE unnecessarily,” said Stella, “but actually there has been enough for us.”
The chaplains have set up a ‘Worry Box’ in the Sacred Space of the hospital where staff put post-it notes about things which concern them. There is also a prayer board.
“We want staff to use our space as somewhere to come to take a minute,” said Stella. “The whole team is here to support our colleagues by lending a listening ear or a space away from their wards or departments.”
The hospital has also set up ‘wobble rooms’ – places where staff can go to chill if they feel overwrought.
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.”
Group services for all faiths have been suspended until further notice due to social distancing guidelines.
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.
Pictured above is the chaplaincy team at Queen Elizabeth Hospital