Patients and their families at Scunthorpe Hospital have a new chaplain to help them through times good and bad.
The Rev Harry Smart, who was a parish priest in North Yorkshire and Sheffield, has spent the last 14 years working as a mental health chaplain in the Lincolnshire area.
He has recently joined the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust’s lead chaplain the Revd Charles Thody and Grimsby hospital chaplain the Revd Anne McCormick.
The Rev Smart said: “People coming in to hospital can be really stressed, upset, anxious and worried. The role of a chaplain is vital as we provide a listening ear and support for patients, as well as their families. We work with people of all faiths or none at all.
“Having someone to listen to, to talk to, as patients are coping with the stress and trauma of coming into hospital or who are trying to cope with difficult news can be a real tonic for some people.”
He said that since joining the Trust at the end of May people have been really welcoming and made his transition from mental health chaplaincy to his new role a friendly experience with people readily asking him to pull up a chair.
“The staff have been great and are so friendly. I work closely with them as an extension to the care that is being offered to patients. Sometimes it is more than just physical care that people require, but spiritual care as well. A friendly face, a listening ear, a confidant, someone to show interest in their fear and worries.”
As well as visiting patients on the wards, the Revd Smart also holds Sunday services in the chapel, takes Holy Communion on the wards for patients too ill to attend a service and says prayers with people.
“Having a chaplain around means that for some patients who have been in for a few days or even weeks we provide that additional human contact so they don’t get lonely or bored. We are also there to support patients who are at the end of their life, and of course their relatives as well.”
The Rev Smart currently lives in Lincoln but aims to move to the Isle or Scunthorpe area.