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Scottish gov appoints first National Advisor on Spiritual Care

by Kelly Valencia
Mark Evans.jpg - Banner image
Church of Scotland

The Scottish government has appointed its first national advisor and operational lead on spiritual care.

Mark Evans will be responsible for advising the Government and NHS boards on the development of spiritual care policies as well as making sure the same standards of spiritual care are followed in all national health boards.

He currently works as strategic lead for spiritual care and bereavement at NHS Fife and is the head of the Diaconate Council of the Church of Scotland. 

Evans told Premier he was "excited" to start but felt a little "overwhelmed" about the size of the task. 

"It's a subject I'm passionate about…I know there's a lot of expectations on the role and I just hope I can live up to that," Evans said. 

The Church of Scotland Deacon said his main priority is to develop a national strategy and policy for spiritual care and health care chaplaincy for NHS Scotland. 

"In the past, we've had frameworks and we've had guidance documents; this will be the first truly national policy and strategy and it will cover everything from recruitment, to education, to training to service delivery," he said. 

He also said he wants to work on "setting up a national program board, which will be a multidisciplinary national board made up from key stakeholders, which will give operational and strategic oversight to development of spiritual care in NHS Scotland."

When asked about how he would like people to pray for him as he starts the role in February, he said: "I think, personally, it would be for patience, and strength, and insight because there's lots of competing voices and there's lots of competing demands and it's very easy to forget the important person in the midst of this, who are the service users. 

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