NHS chaplain continues to give pastoral and spiritual support

Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership Chaplain Raymond Deans.
Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership Chaplain Raymond Deans.

Raymond Deans is one of Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership’s (HSCP) chaplains, covering Bute, Helensburgh and surrounding communities.

The role of the chaplain is providing a reassuring service for people in need of spiritual and pastoral support which includes

HSCP staff.

Raymond during his working life has been employed in large and small factories in Renfrewshire and Glasgow. He has worked for the Church of Scotland for 20 years based in Glasgow, Uddingston and Bute.  For the past 14 years he has been employed as a part-time chaplain and has five of those years dedicating his professionalism to the HSCP.

Raymond said: “As a chaplain I would like to highlight that hospital is one of the few places where people of all faiths and none come together.

“My role is to provide spiritual care and support regardless of religious beliefs to HSCP staff, patients and relatives, carers and friends.

“The service is also available to the wider community.

“Essentially, I provide a listening service which allows people to talk about whatever is troubling or worrying them, whether in their work lives or private lives.

“The service is always provided with compassion, empathy and confidentiality.

“I also interview patients and HSCP staff to reflect on patients care experiences and staff to reflect their views on health and social care service improvement.

“My daily workload is well structured and I prioritise my caseloads, as this is required to increase my productivity in the rural areas I cover.

“At times it can be challenging due to the rurality of the areas I cover. Working part-time flexible hours means time management skills are necessary to deliver and meet the demands for the service.”

On occasions the chaplain has to make professional judgement calls with regard to referrals for the service. It can be challenging for Raymond responding urgently to all service user demands.

Raymond said: “It is really important to ensure that people know about the chaplaincy service and are given the opportunity to be supported, signposted or referred to suitable health and social care local, national, HSCP partner agencies and services.

“Spiritual care success is often acknowledged with a smile, nod of approval or handshake. Seeing people who have struggled for whatever reason move on after input from the chaplaincy service is always very satisfying.

“I have come to regard my years within health and social care as being the most honoured years of my commitment providing the chaplaincy service.”

Raymond enjoys living on Bute and the closeness of the local community. He enjoys many of the local activities, festivals and community events. Most of all he will never tire of the scenery and seaside town surroundings.

Chaplains are available to offer confidential non judgemental support. Call 07580 533400 or email raymond.deans@nhs.net.

Raymond would also like to raise awareness of helpline services: NHS 24’s Breathing Space 0800 838587; Samaritans 116 123; The Silver Line Helpline 0800 4708090.