ESS Letter: Cost of NHS religious chaplains

NHS

The NHS spends £25m a year on religious chaplains: the equivalent cost of more than 1,000 junior nurses.

Religious people are tax payers too but we pay into the NHS insurance pot to make sure, for example, that there is a brain scanner which we ALL might need one day.

Patients who might be comforted by religious words must of course be free to hear them but why should everyone pay for a religious counselling service which will only ever be used by a few?

Antony Lempert, Chair of The Secular Medical Forum has said “Our concerns are really about the conflation of religion and spirituality.”

The NHS must provide spiritual/emotional support for all patients but religious organisations can afford to fund their own specific pastoral care.

Neil Barber – Communication Officer – Edinburgh Secular Society

Published in Edinburgh Evening News 25th Feb 2016

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