In this Federal Election 2022, Spiritual Health Association calls for an Australian Government investment that enables Australians to have access to high-quality, safe spiritual care by building capacity across the health care system to recognise and respond to peoples’ spiritual needs.
1. Identify all existing models of spiritual care in the Australian health sector
$500,000 over one year to audit current models of spiritual care provision across Australian public hospitals. There are different models of spiritual care provision in place across Australian hospitals, but there has been no research undertaken to explore the extent of the variations in workforce and delivery of services. This is needed to inform the development of a consistent national model. This project would answer the following questions:
a. Where are spiritual care services being delivered?
b. Who are the providers of spiritual care?
c. How is spiritual care delivered?
d. Where are the gaps in delivery, practice and provision in Australian public hospitals?
2. Codesign a national model for spiritual care in health
$1 million over two years to codesign and test an agreed model for spiritual care in the public hospital sector.
Unwarranted variations in service provision are a risk to safety and quality of care. Australians have a right to receive high-quality and safe spiritual care and to have equitable access to best-practice services.
The project will bring together consumers, a range of health careworkers, researchers, educationalists, policy makers and faith communities to develop a national model for spiritual care through a codesign process
The model will be piloted, and revisions made through an iterative process guided by codesign principles. This project will be informed by:
a. A literature review (currently in progress in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Otago, New Zealand)
b. The above audit of current models of spiritual care provision across Australian public hospitals.
c. A parallel process of codesign to be undertaken in New Zealand.
3. Build a National Spiritual Care Workforce Plan for the health sector
$1 million over two years to develop a National Spiritual Care Workforce Plan (inclusive of public hospitals, mental health and palliative care).
Implementation of a nationally consistent model for the provision of spiritual care will require identification and development of a capable and competent workforce. This project will work with key stakeholders as identified through the codesign process, to develop a contemporary generalist and specialist spiritual care workforce plan.
It will include identification of the education, training and curriculum development required.
The project will be informed by national palliative care standards, mental health reform and workforce strategies, current spiritual care standards, and build on the outcomes of preceding projects.
Download Spiritual Health Association: Call to Action