The merits and value of Parish Nursing are felt immensely by those who have been benefactors of their care and pastoral support. The Mission Team looks to support them in their ministry and, thanks to the former generosity of the former Committee for Family and Social Welfare, the scheme is ongoing in Ely Diocese.
Parish nursing is an international movement founded in the USA in the 1980 's, which expanded to the UK after 2003. There are now over 100 established Parish Nurses.
The focus of Parish Nursing is on whole person healthcare, the harmony and well-being of body, mind and spirit. This ministry is carried out by registered nurses, appointed or employed by a church. They may already be part of the congregation; they may also be working in the NHS. They will encourage better self-care within the community, practical help and advice, but will not undertake invasive care which remains the responsibility of GP surgeries and district nurses. However they can offer prayer and spiritual care, time to listen, and professional advice, often supported by trained volunteers. People of all faiths or none may access their care.
There is a national training scheme and ongoing professional support through Parish Nursing Ministry UK, see www.parishnursing.org.uk.
The Diocese of Ely is able to offer funds to help parishes and churches of any denomination in the diocesan area, to set up a Scheme, supported by training and co-ordination from Parish Nursing Ministries UK.