Hospital Chaplaincy Procedures

Susan Davis made this Freedom of Information request to Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust,

I would like to request the following information on standards, policies and procedures relating to hospital chaplains in your Trust.

Could you please:

1. tell me whether policies or procedures exist to:

a. establish whether a patient admitted to any of your hospitals does or does not wish to receive contact from a hospital chaplain

b. ensure that patients (or their visitors, next-of-kin etc.) do not received unsolicited contact from chaplains

c. safeguard patients’ personal and medical data such that hospital chaplains by default do not have access to it

d. ensure that hospital chaplains, when given access to patient data, do not share any of it with third parties

If you answered yes to any of the above, please could you provide me with copies of the relevant policies or procedures

2. outline your approach for monitoring adherence to the policies and procedures above

3. provide me with a summary of the results of this monitoring for the last five years, including rates of compliance with the policies and procedures, and severity of any non-compliance events

4. provide me with details of any action taken in respect of any non-compliance identified (e.g. tightening of procedures, disciplinary action – in the latter case, taking care not to disclose any personal information)

Please could you release this information in electronic form by email via this WhatDoTheyKnow request.

Yours faithfully,

Susan Davis

Link: [1]File-List

Dear Susan Davis

I am writing to acknowledge your request for information under the Freedom
of Information (FOI) Act. Your request was received in our office on:
25/03/2013

We are considering your request and will reply more fully in due course.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, we have 20 working days in which to
respond.

Some information, however, might be withheld due to exemptions which are
allowed for by the Act. If this is the case, we will tell you that we have
withheld information and why.

If we can be of any further assistance to you in the meantime, please do
not hesitate to contact the Trust at: [BSUH request email]

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust will make every effort
to respond to your request if possible. Our main aim and priority,
however, is to provide the best care possible to our patients. Our Trust
will not respond to any requests which are designed to distract staff from
their responsibilities. We appreciate your understanding.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Office

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

 

This electronic message contains information from Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which may be privileged or confidential. The information is intended to be for the use of the individual(s) or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of this information is prohibited. If you have received this electronic message in error, please notify us immediately at [email address].

This Trust is committed to openness and transparency, and this commitment is supported by the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Under the Act, any recorded information held by the Trust, including this message, unless legally exempt, may be subject to public disclosure.

Activity and use of the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust E-mail system is monitored to secure its effective operation and for other lawful business purposes. Communications using this system will also be monitored for viruses and other harmful material.

References

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Dear Susan Davis,

Thank you for your recent request for information under the Freedom of
Information (FOI) Act 2000.

We are now in a position to respond to your request.

Your request:

     I would like to request the following information on standards,
policies and procedures relating to hospital chaplains in your Trust.

          Could you please:

         1. Tell me whether policies or procedures exist to:

         a. establish whether a patient admitted to any of your hospitals
does or does not wish to receive contact from a hospital chaplain 

         b. ensure that patients (or their visitors, next-of-kin etc.) do
not received unsolicited contact from chaplains 

         c. safeguard patients' personal and medical data such that
hospital chaplains by default do not have access to it

         d. ensure that hospital chaplains, when given access to patient
data, do not share any of it with third parties 

         If you answered yes to any of the above, please could you provide
me with copies of the relevant policies or procedures

         2. outline your approach for monitoring adherence to the policies
and procedures above 

         3. provide me with a summary of the results of this monitoring
for the last five years, including rates of compliance with the policies
and procedures, and severity of any non-compliance events 

         4. provide me with details of any action taken in respect of any
non-compliance identified (e.g. tightening of procedures, disciplinary
action - in the latter case, taking care not to         disclose any
personal information) 

Our response:

          1a. Policy - Information about Spiritual and Religious Care
offered by the Trust can be found in the 'Welcome Information' pack
available to patients from the hospital or online from our website.  It is
also general practice for Chaplaincy volunteers to visit patients to
determine whether contact from a hospital chaplain is desired.  The
Trust's Liverpool Care Pathway document also asks if patients or relatives
wish to see a chaplain.  The Welcome to the Royal Sussex County Hospital
information pack, Chaplaincy Volunteer Guidelines, and Liverpool Care
Pathway document are all attached for your information.

          1b. Policy - please refer to response to Q1a.  If religious
needs are not already known/recorded in the patient file, Chaplaincy
volunteers visit patients to determine whether contact from a hospital
chaplain is desired. 

          1c. Procedure/Policy - Trust Chaplains have access to patient
records only to determine religious needs if not already known through
established procedures (see Q1a).  Confidentiality of patient data is
covered in the Caldicott Principles (the fourth Principle) and the Data
Protection Act (the first, second and sixth principles) - guidance and
legislation that applies to all NHS staff.  The Trust's Confidentiality
and Security Policy broadly outlines these responsibilities.  This policy
has been attached for your information.

          1d. Procedure - please refer to response to Q1c.  Under the
Caldicott Principles (the fourth Principle) and the Data Protection Act
(the first, second and sixth principles), Chaplains are aware of their
responsibilities under this guidance and recognise that confidential
information should never be passed to third parties without the patient's
explicit consent.

          If you answered yes to any of the above, please could you
provide me with copies of the relevant policies or procedures

          2.  Monitoring is outlined in the BSUH Religion and Belief
Policy and its appendices - please see attached.

          3. The relevant policy was introduced last year.  The Trust does
not currently hold summary reports relating to compliance, but there have
been no "non-compliance events" to date. 

          4. No action taken to date 

If you require clarification or if we can be of any further assistance to
you, please do not hesitate to contact us at: [BSUH request email]

If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your enquiry, you have the
right to appeal. The address of our FOI Review Department is:

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
FOI Review
Central Information Unit - D Block
Brighton General Hospital
Elm Grove
Brighton BN2 3EW

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of your appeal, you can
write to:

The Information Commissioner
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545700

We hope that you find the information provided helpful.

Yours sincerely

Freedom of Information Office

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

 

This electronic message contains information from Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, which may be privileged or confidential. The information is intended to be for the use of the individual(s) or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient be aware that any disclosure, copying, distribution or use of the contents of this information is prohibited. If you have received this electronic message in error, please notify us immediately at [email address].

This Trust is committed to openness and transparency, and this commitment is supported by the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Under the Act, any recorded information held by the Trust, including this message, unless legally exempt, may be subject to public disclosure.

Activity and use of the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust E-mail system is monitored to secure its effective operation and for other lawful business purposes. Communications using this system will also be monitored for viruses and other harmful material.

References

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