Patient and Family Services provide emotional support to patients and their families as they wrestle with the implications of the patient's illness. The department runs a number of support services aimed at meeting the varied needs of the families and friends of those we have cared for. Individual counselling is also available.
The Chaplaincy at St Luke’s Hospice exists to help people address their spiritual and religious needs in the light of illness and death. Religious needs are those which are usually addressed via the standard media of prayer and worship - the things that people do in Church or Chapel.
Spiritual needs are far broader and less well defined, and it is the task of the Chaplain, alongside the other members of the St Luke’s team, to enable people to continue their spiritual lives, or explore them further, both during their time in the Hospice, and at home.
Much of the Chaplain’s time is spent simply listening to the stories that people bring with them, helping them to celebrate their lives, and feel that they still have something to contribute to others. Sometimes people need help in resolving relationship conflicts; sometimes they simply want to ensure that whatever time is left is spent in celebration. Couples sometimes ask to renew their vows to one another; sometimes people rediscover the spiritual discipline of prayer, or of communion.
The Hospice has a Chapel, used nearly every day by patients, family and friends as a place of peace, prayer and quiet.
St Luke’s is committed to the care of family and friends as well, and so the Chaplain’s time is spent with them as well as with patients. Some home visits are conducted, often at the request of the Community Specialist Palliative Care team, and sometimes as a follow up to a stay in the in-patient unit, or a conversation in the Day Hospice.
The Chaplaincy team has recently been expanded, with the help of volunteers, in order to bring different skills, experience and perceptions of faith into the spiritual care we offer, to patients, families, friends and staff. The Chaplain himself, Reverend Trevor Smith, is a full time member of staff, contributing to the wider life of the Hospice, and available most days on site. Please ask the staff on the Reception desk to contact him if you would like to meet him, if you can’t find him.