Hospital chaplains are central to "true healthcare"

Healthcare chaplains who provide spiritual nourishment to hospital patients are greatly appreciated and valued, the Moderator of the General Assembly has said.

Lord Wallace made the remarks during a visit to University Hospital Crosshouse, known locally as Crosshouse Hospital, near Kilmarnock to hear about their vitally important work.

Lord Wallace and Andy Gillies
Lord Wallace and Andy Gillies, NHS Ayrshire and Arran lead for staff care, person-centred care and spiritual care.

He spent time with Andy Gillies, NHS Ayrshire and Arran lead for staff care, person-centred care and spiritual care, who gave him an overview of the service provided across the region.

"The role of the hospital chaplain is central to true healthcare," said Mr Gillies.

"They attend to needs that are beyond the medical, needs that makes a person a person.

"It was really good to have the Moderator and his wife visit the hospital and it symbolises that healthcare chaplaincy is taken seriously and is important.

"I am extremely grateful for Lord Wallace's visit."

Church of Scotland chaplains support patients, their families and staff in hospitals across the country.

Accompanying Lord and Lady Wallace on the visit was Barbara Urquhart DCS, a deacon and former hospital chaplain, and her guide dog, Inga.

Also present was Rev Jill Clancy, Moderator of the Presbytery of Kilmarnock and Irvine.

Lord Wallace is currently on a Presbytery of Irvine and Kilmarnock tour to learn more about the life and work of the local church.