“(The vision) will inform the next stage of my spiritual care and contribute to and inspire my practice.” (senior nurse)
The vision for the Oxford Centre for Spirituality and Wellbeing (OCSW) is for the development of evidence-based, compassionate and holistic care which addresses not only the symptoms of a person’s illness, but also enables them to experience being cared for with compassion and respect including their spiritual and religious needs. This vision is undergirded by research, training and the support of NHS and social care staff.
The Centre focuses on the development and dissemination of an integrated and holistic model of care. Its purpose is to generate practice-based evidence of the benefits of an integrated approach to care through research. The evidence will underpin the development of training for staff, to equip and support them to provide spiritual care as a necessary dimension of person-centred holistic care.
Research among both mental health and community health care patients (1) has:
- Produced significant evidence that spirituality in the form of psycho-spiritual care can be a source of support, inspiration, hope and recovery.
- Provided evidence which suggests that, whilst there is a developing interest in the UK and elsewhere to incorporate spiritual understandings within health care practice, in reality there is a significant gap between theory and practice. It is this gap that the work of the Centre aims to address.
(1) National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum (2011); Knowing our own Minds (1997) ; Strategies for Living (2000); Somerset Spirituality Project (2002); One Chance to Get it Right’ End of Life Care Strategy (2014).