With the increase in popularity for exercises such as mindfulness and meditation in order to care for “the whole self” in 2031 care will reflect the growing trend of wellness. This is a more holistic approach to care that looks not only and the body but also the mind, soul and life-style. To address growing demand for wellness-inspired care in 2031 healthcare will develop to incorporate spiritual care into its framework.
Spiritual Care is a speculative care proposal. It addresses the times in a patient’s journey when they struggle to find something to believe in. It specifically focuses on offering support after a diagnosis. To facilitate this, a new branch of NHS Scotland would be created: The NHS Scotland Care Trust. The Care Trust would include a Spiritual Care branch under which would exist the new role of Narrative Counsellor. Spiritual Care itself is non-religious, however, it can be incorporated into the existing belief systems of patients and their loved-ones. The flexibility of this system reflects the growing religious diversity across the UK in the next 10 years, allowing the system to evolve and adapt to changing social structures.
Through a series of sessions the Narrative Counsellor will guide the patient on a meditative journey by asking targeted questions pertaining to their core beliefs such as “when do you feel most vulnerable?” and “what does joy mean to you?”. Loved -ones are invited to participate in these sessions as well, it is important to recognise that no patient is an island, Spiritual Care extends into their relationships.
To facilitate this, each patient is supplied with a figurine named Sanctum that responds to the patient’s spiritual input. Sanctum is powered by a “heart” which grows stronger with use, when held the figurine reacts to the users body heat and goes clear exposing the heart inside. The colours of Sanctum are dependent on the emotions and energy of the patient meaning each Sanctum is unique and the colours will change over time. Essentially, Sanctum acts as a “living” reflection of their spiritual journey.
The Scottish government investing in Spiritual Care and the creation of a new Care Trust would signal a move to a more holistic approach to healthcare that looks at patients not only as individuals but addresses relationships and lifestyles. This in turn would allow for a more preventative approach to care which would benefit the NHS by easing strain on resources.