Nod for 'champions' of the pandemic at Blackpool's Hospitals

Blackpool hospitals’ chaplaincy team have been given a nod for their fantastic work during ‘difficult times’ of the pandemic.

Saturday, 16th April 2022, 4:55 am

The team were crowned ‘Non-Clinical Team of the Year’ and were ‘Highly Commended’ for the Chairman’s Award, making them runners-up to the ‘Champion of Champions of Care’; an award which went to their colleagues in Critical Care.

Their success has since been welcomed by the The Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Trust’s Head of Patient Experience, Eleanor Walsh and the Bishop of Lancaster, Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff.

The Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care Department at Blackpool-based Trust is a team of staff and volunteers led by the Rev. Ian Baxter (Baptist) who is Team Lead.

The Chaplaincy and Clinical Care team

Ian is supported by Rev. Clive Lord, Rev Helen Houston and Rev. Paul Berry (Church of England); Father Andrew Dawson and Patrick Hynes (Catholic), Imam Ashfaq Rafiq Patel (Muslim) and Rev. Jim Williams (United Reform Church, URC).

During the worst spell of the pandemic the Chaplaincy Team were also supported by the Rev. Dr. Susan Salt and Martin McDonald (both CofE), who joined the staff team for a while.

Rev. Helen Houston said today: “In an often-secular world it’s lovely to see the value placed on the religious and spiritual care of our patients by our Trust. We’re very grateful for Rev. Ian’s leadership which has helped to put Chaplaincy in this position.

“We also have a number of volunteers from churches of different denominations across Blackpool who have supported the Chaplaincy through the pandemic by prayer, telephone calls, cards, texts, emails, and - hospital policy allowing – visiting the wards themselves.

“We have been grateful too, for the prayers and good wishes of a number of Blackpool and Fylde Primary Schools, as well as those of the Blackpool Madrasah; all of which have sustained us in some very difficult times.”

“The team became much more intentional about self-care and the need for our staff to access wellbeing resources, the chapel and garden became ‘wobble’ rooms/wellbeing spaces for staff to tap in and out of high-intensity scenarios; ensuring they had a quiet space to relax and reflect.

“They also created ‘don’t take work home with you’ cards which had poignant coping mechanism/support messages to relieve anxiety and burnout staff may have felt at the end of a shift.”

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