Tuesday, 15 June 2021

County’s first parish nurse to focus on elderly care

THE first parish nurse in Oxfordshire has been appointed in Shiplake.

THE first parish nurse in Oxfordshire has been appointed in Shiplake.

Jocelyn Haynes, 51, will carry out the part-time voluntary role for the benefice of Shiplake with Dunsden and Harpsden-cum-Bolney.

She was welcomed at a special service at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Shiplake led by the Bishop of Dorchester, the Rt Rev Colin Fletcher.

Mrs Haynes, who is married to a GP and has four children, is a registered nurse whose duties will include pastoral and hospital visits with a particular focus on caring for elderly people. Patients can be referred to her by GPs and nurses.

She will work two days a week on a three-year contract and her expenses will be covered by donations from parishioners.

She said: “I’m able to offer prayer and spiritual care to people. District and community nurses are brilliant but a parish nurse can provide extra time. Care of the elderly is a huge area, which will increase with the population living longer.

“Also, people are awakening to their spiritual needs. They are realising it’s not just physical but health, wholeness and peace of mind.” Mrs Haynes, from Earley, recently became a member of Shiplake church, and said: “I’ve been doing a little bit of this for many years in a smaller remit and then I heard about parish nursing and for a lot of reasons it has fallen into place.

“I’m responsible to the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Diocese of Oxford, which is really good for patient care and good practice.”

Rev Paul Bradish, rector for the benefice, said: “Jocelyn will be a great blessing to the church and people of all faiths or no faith.It’s not just for the church but for everyone and she will be working alongside other healthcare professionals.”

The Bishop said: “This is an exciting development, extending the care of this parish to young and old alike. It’s the first one of its kind in Oxfordshire and we look forward to seeing how it may develop well beyond Shiplake.

“Healthcare in this country has only been the responsibility of the state over the last century. What we’re very good at in churches is spotting gaps and moving into them.”

There are 83 parish nurses in the UK, covering 77 churches.

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