The Interchurch Council for Hospital Chaplaincy (ICHC)
(Registered Charity Number CC21346)
has, since a
decision of the NZ Government
CM 72/9/14 of
1972), been the national provider of hospital chaplaincy services in
New Zealand under a shared funding arrangement between the Government's
/ Ministry and the Churches. The Government wished to deal
with only one body on behalf of the Churches. As a result the Interchurch
Council for Hospital Chaplaincy, Aotearoa, New Zealand, Charitable Trust
Inc. is the national chaplaincy body of nine Churches involved in the provision of a professional healthcare
chaplaincy service. The nine churches
ACTS Churches New Zealand,
Churches New Zealand,
Chaplains are sometimes appointed from other Christian denominations as it
is policy to appoint the best applicant to a position.
The Place of Spiritual Care
Spiritual well-being is a fundamental
right under the UN Declaration of Human Rights. This has been recognised
under the Health and Disabilities (Safety) Act 2001 under which New Zealand
healthcare standards for the accreditation of hospitals are set. These
provide for patients to have access to the spiritual care of their choice
and have their cultural and spiritual beliefs and practices upheld, in
regarding death and dying.
These standards became mandatory from 1 October 2004.
The presence of ecumenical and Catholic hospital chaplains
(and chaplaincy assistants under supervision of a chaplain) enables this
standard for hospital accreditation to be met.
Access to chaplaincy services and exit
from the service is by way of: self referral e.g.
indicated on admission forms; requests to nurse or chaplaincy staff; referral by immediate
family or extended whanau; referral by hospital
staff; referral by other health
workers including DSS workers, GPs etc; referral by marae and
church based organisations;
referral by Iwi health
providers and other Maori providers; referral by community
groups, organisations and related services; referral by government
agencies e.g. Social, Justice, Education.
The chaplain also has an important role
in the spiritual support of Hospital staff and their family (NZ Health
Standards 2.4 & 6.3.8) for those who wish to avail themselves of it.
The Hospital Chaplain is an important
member of the multi-disciplinary care team and the spiritual support offered
is an important contribution to the holistic model of care New Zealand's
Health Services are seeking to provide.
Under no circumstances will a
chaplain or chaplaincy assistant attempt
to provide services to any person who
indicates they do not wish to receive such service, or who indicates they
have a preference for spiritual care or ministry to be provided by some
other person or organisation. Chaplains will, on request, assist in locating
a patient's own spiritual adviser or any member of their faith they wish to
Accountability and Complaints about
Complaints or Incident
Reports lodged by individuals or with Hospitals, about chaplains or the
chaplaincy service are referred to the Executive Officer, ICHC for
The Chaplain's Role
ICHC and the Ministry of Health have
agreed that the chaplain's role is to address the spiritual, emotional and
pastoral needs of patients particularly where their illness has presented a
major threat or trauma (spiritually and emotionally) and which may render
patients and/or their whanau/family vulnerable.
The ICHC Logo
Oval Shape: is a
universal oval representing new life / life encompassing all things eternal
sustaining life, giving, washing, cleansing
Two Koru: represent
people of different cultures. Two koru represent balance and wholeness, and
nurture of each other
Christian symbol always associated with care for people, Godís people.
Life line-heart beat:
in the centre to show the service is provided to support and sustain people.
We are whole people - holistic health and wellbeing, vibrant and life
Green: the colour of
nature supporting life and sustained by the water and found in the cross Ė
the God symbol, of universal Christ