Common ground between faiths in teaching and practising healthcare

Summer Conference hosted by Faith in Sussex and South East England Faiths Forum

WORTH ABBEY, Saturday 15th June 2013

“The value of faith and compassion in health and healthcare” - Dr John Geater, International Director & Founding member of PRIME, Partnerships in International Medical Education, has taught patient-centred care to doctors, nurses and students of different faiths and cultures worldwide. He spoke eloquently about the value of faith, hope and compassion in health care and explained that body; mind and spirit all require attention. Referring to various scriptures he emphasized that we are dealing with people not things and must remember that what is important to you (the patient) should also be important to me as the person providing healthcare. Recovery is greatly improved through the provision of compassionate care and social support. Health professionals can acquire insight, which can improve their practice, by considering role models in compassion, such as Jesus, and his healing of the sick. Through training health professionals in 50 nations John has experienced how patient-centred care rooted in values common to the great faiths is much appreciated and very effective in improving practice and outcomes.

“Diversity of experiences and expressions of psychological trauma across cultures; unified common values working for common good”- Dr Shakil Malik, Senior Clinical Director & Consultant Psychiatrist, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation & Teaching Trust. Dr Malik, who has been practicing psychiatry for 30 years, spoke of the universal nature of human suffering and pain beyond difference of religion and culture and the commonality of human beings emotional response to trauma and disaster. He referred particularly to experiences post earthquake and flood disaster in Pakistan as he led a group of consultant psychiatrists from Sussex NHS in demonstrating that love, kindness and compassion can build a bridge which unites people in a sense of common humanity.

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