Service user views of spiritual and pastoral care (chaplaincy) in NHS mental health services: a co-produced constructivist grounded theory investigation
BACKGROUND: Within the UK National Health Service (NHS), Spiritual and Pastoral Care (SPC) Services (chaplaincies) have not traditionally embraced research due to the intangible nature of their work. However, small teams like SPC can lead the way towards servicesacross the NHS becoming patient- centred and patient-led. Using co-production principles within research can ensure it, and the resulting services, are truly patient-led. METHODS: A series of interviews were conducted with service users across directorates of a large NHS mental health Trust. Their views on the quality of SPC services and desired changes were elicited. Grounded theory was used with a constant comparative approach to the interviews and analysis. RESULTS: Initial analysis explored views on spirituality and religion in health. Participants’ concerns included what chaplains should do, who they should see, and how soon after admission. Theoretical analysis suggested incorporating an overarching spiritual element into the bio-psycho-social model of mental healthcare. CONCLUSIONS: Service users’ spirituality should not be sidelined. To service users with strong spiritual beliefs, supporting their spiritualresilience is central to their care and well-being. Failure will lead to non-holistic care unlikely to engage or motivate.