Friday, August 24, 2007

Salford hospital chaplain forced out for criticisms

Update : although Fr Quiligotti wrote to the Catholic Herald denying that his diocese had failed to back him up, the Catholic Herald's 'Pastor Iuventus' and Fr Anthony Smondson SJ have written with appalling stories of hosptital obstruction of chaplaincy services. This is a national scandal; Catholics with friends or relations in hospital should be aware of the problem.

Briefing 10/08/07:
Bishop Brain of Salford is failing to support a priest who has been struggling with the same NHS obstructionism against chaplains that prompted the Scottish Bishops to complain last December: see our post here.

From the Catholic Herald (in part): Fr David Quiligotti, 51, was appointed a chaplain by Bishop Terence Brain of Salford in 2003 and worked at Trafford General Hospital for four years. But he says he was forced to stand down last month after hospital managers complained to diocesan officials.

Fr Quiligotti believes he is paying the price for criticising standards at the 450-bed hospital. In the run-up to his departure he had claimed that some wards were routinely understaffed and that “unnecessary” bureaucracy was making it difficult for chaplains to locate patients who needed emotional and spiritual help.

Fr Quiligotti had regularly asked for access to electronic patient records in order to facilitate his contact with Catholic patients. He claimed that other hospitals had more effective ways of alerting chaplains to patients’ religious needs.

“Some trusts have set up an additional computer field so chaplains can log on to the system but only see patients’ names and their religion without being able to see any of their medical records,” he said.

“Sometimes families would tell me they had asked to see a priest when their seriously ill relative came in weeks before – but that the message had never been passed on.”

See the local paper's story here.

1 comment:

John Kearney said...

Was it correct for Fr Quiligoti to make public comments about the running of the hospital? I am not sure, but one thing I know is that there is a policy that was introduced by the Government that prohibits the religion of a patient being made public without their consent and this extends even to chaplains. This effects not only hospitals but any other place such as a home for the elderly. Unless there is a specific request from the patient the staff are not permitted to divulge their patient`s religion even to chaplains. At one time this was routine, the nurse would let the chaplain know there was a catholic, or for that matter an Anglican patient around but this no longer applies. With the dying of this awareness staff no longer even think of connecting patients with their religious representatives. It is an appalling state of affairs. I visit catholics in an old folks home on a Sunday. We are now down to one catholic from when we started with four. I cannot ask the staff if they know of any more catholics since this is against the rules. Something should be done or said by our bishops and on this issue at least they should be supporting Fr Quiligoti.

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen