Scotland is a religiously and culturally diverse country.

Most NHSScotland Health Boards now have Spiritual Care Services staffed by a chaplaincy team who are a good source of knowledge and experience on how to serve the needs of a multi-faith population. Chaplaincy teams help to facilitate spiritual or religious care for all, whatever their faith or life stance happens to be. They will usually know who to contact when a person asks to see someone from a particular faith and belief community. Spiritual Care Service contacts are available on most NHS Board internet sites; an on-call chaplain can usually be contacted 24/7 via main hospital switchboards.

You can resolve many of the issues arising from caring for people from a faith and belief community or culture unfamiliar to you by simply asking the patient, or their visitors, how they wish to be looked after and what practices are important to them. In addition, all NHS Boards should offer access to interpreting services and it is essential to use these services when a patient has difficulty communicating their needs.

NHS Education for Scotland - Introductory Resource on Spiritual Care


An introductory resource for all NHSScotland staff, 'Spiritual Care Matters', has been launched as of 2021.

This resource is for those wishing to find out a bit more and those with a commitment to teach and explain its values. It is a useful contribution to the diverse area covered by the term 'spiritual care'.

Click here or on the image to the right to view and download on Turas Learn


NHS Education for Scotland - A multi-faith resource for healthcare staff


The NES multi-faith resource document has been updated as of May 2021. The resource contains information regarding attitudes to healthcare staff and illness and death customs for the following communities:

-        Baha’i faith

-        Brahma Kumaris

-        Buddhism

-        Chinese

-        Christianity

-        Hinduism 

-        Humanism

-        Islam

-        Jehovah’s Witnesses

-        Judaism

-        Paganism

-        Sikhism

-       Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)

Click here or on the image to the right to view and download on Turas Learn


Supporting the spiritual care needs of those who are nearing the end of life


This guidance is designed to help health and social care staff meet the spiritual care needs of people who are approaching the end of life during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it may also have relevance in other contexts.

It cannot provide detailed information on every belief community; rather it outlines key points and principles, and signposts to where you can find more specific information as required.

Click here or on the image to the right to view the pdf. printable version


Faith, spiritual care & mourning rituals: understanding how to support people around the time of death - 7th July 2021

Linda Dunbar, Practice Educator (Spiritual Care and Chaplaincy), NHS Education for Scotland, and Lindsay Anderson, Community Mental Health Chaplain, NHS Lothian

This webinar provided an overview of how different faith communities deal with death, dying and bereavement, including mourning rituals and other factors, and how best we can meet the needs of all groups. It guided attendees on what to be aware of and how to deal with potential issues, such as how to ask the right questions of patients and their families, and how to draw on the right sources of information for specific faith matters.

PowerPoint slides -  Click here to view

Webinar recording - click on the image to the right or here to watch on the NES Vimeo channel.