Three new full-time posts have been created as a healthcare trust expands its chaplaincy team.
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has created the new positions as part of an investment in pastoral support for patients, visitors and staff in hospitals.
The trust’s chaplains provide comfort and support to those who are facing difficult situations.
The new chaplains are Rev Robert Muir, who is based at Wansbeck General Hospital; Rev Max Shepherd, at North Tyneside General Hospital; and Fr Dave Nixon, who works across both hospitals.
Rev Kathy Jones, chaplaincy team leader at the trust, said: “We are delighted to expand our team and welcome three new chaplains.
“Being in hospital may present some difficult situations and our role as chaplains is to be there for people of all faiths, and none, to listen to them and support them with our experience, our expertise and our inclusiveness.
“It’s our job to ensure that everybody in any situation in hospital has access to appropriate religious or spiritual support if that is important to them.”
Rev Shepherd has worked in the NHS his whole career, first as a nurse and then as a chaplain.
Rev Muir joins from his role as chaplain at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.
And Fr Nixon has held various roles working in parishes, school chaplaincy, youth and retreat ministry and teaching pastoral care skills.
In addition to Wansbeck and North Tyneside general hospitals, Fr Nixon is also Roman Catholic chaplain for Blyth Community Hospital and the Whalton Unit in Morpeth.
The trust’s chaplaincy service covers all hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside. The general hospitals at Wansbeck, North Tyneside and Hexham have chapels for quiet reflection and prayer.
The chaplains, supported by trained volunteers, visit patients on hospital wards and in quiet spaces away from clinical areas.
The chaplaincy team has strong links with the leaders of local churches and faith communities and churches provide volunteers to help patients attend services in the chapel.