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Additional funding to support hospital chaplains

Health Minister Robin Swann has announced an additional £25,000 funding to support the work of the Northern Ireland Healthcare Chaplains Association (NIHCA). Chaplains are employed directly by HSC Trusts to provide spiritual care to all patients, visitors, staff and volunteers across healthcare, regardless of faith or no-faith.

Commenting on the funding the Health Minister said:

“I am delighted to be able to offer this additional funding to the Northern Ireland Healthcare Chaplains Association. I want to pay tribute to the work of our hospital chaplains. They have provided spiritual and religious care, support and comfort to patients, their families and healthcare staff, during some of the bleakest moments in this pandemic. Often chaplains have been the only non-clinical faces seen by patients, delivering much needed support with dignity and compassion.”

“This extra funding will provide much needed additional professional training for chaplains and the development of a local bank of practical resources for use by patients.”

He also thanked the NICHA for its ongoing and active role in equipping chaplains to undertake their important role.

Rev. Norman Harrison, Director of Training for the Northern Ireland Healthcare Chaplains Association, stated that:

“The NIHCA very much welcomes and appreciates the acknowledgement which this funding represents of the work of Chaplains throughout the pandemic across all the HSC Trusts. We would like to thank the Minister as well as the Department of Health for giving both time and consideration to Chaplaincy, and for the encouragement this tangible acknowledgment brings, as we pursue our goal of preparing Chaplains for their professional role within the HSCNI.”

The Department of Health currently provides annual funding of £33,000 to the NIHCA to support the training and development of chaplains.