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Reverend Professor Stephen Wright explains to Adele Waters why spirituality is an essential feature of high-quality patient care.
The reputation of nursing in the UK suffered another blow last month when the health service ombudsman's report on the care of older people in the NHS was published. 'Hungry, thirsty, unwashed: NHS treatment of the elderly condemned' and 'Nasty nurses? Tell me something new' were just two of the angry newspaper headlines castigating nursing care.
A group of nursing experts gathered yesterday at a Nursing Standard conference in London to discuss the importance of recognising the individual patient in care systems. But at a time when the NHS is enduring massive spending cuts and skill mix pressures, have nurses got time to provide what some call 'soul care'? For one of the event's speakers the answer is an emphatic 'yes'. Stephen Wright is a nurse who runs The Sacred Space Foundation, a spiritual retreat centre in Cumbria that offers specialist support to nurses 'burnt out' by stress.
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Log in to read the accompanying article, published in Nursing Standard, March 30th 2011, vol 25 no 30