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Moderator Calls for NHS to be Celebrated

Wednesday May 16 2018

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has called for the National Health Service, and the people who work in it, to be celebrated and valued.

Preaching on Sunday at a celebration service for the 70th anniversary of the NHS held in Dunfermline Abbey Church, the Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning said that ‘personal health and wellbeing is not only a right for all, it is a fundamental characteristic of the civilised society we expect in our country’.

He said that it had been ‘a source of such encouragement’ during his year as Moderator ‘to meet with health professionals right across the organisation who provide the kindness and care alongside the professional skill that provides so much of the substance to the fabric of our society’.

He argued that the ‘sacrificial commitment’ of the carers is ‘not, to my mind, rewarded the way they ought to be’, adding: “That is a familiar argument, and an old one, but it needs to be made again and again to anyone who has their hands anywhere near the public purse. If we wish to continue to deliver world-beating healthcare from cradle to grave, those who provide it in our name and on our behalf need to be cared for too.”

And he stated that the church, along with the NHS and the whole of society, needed to play its part in creating a healthy society, by ‘forming partnerships of respect, trust and appreciation’.

Dr Browning was accompanied by his chaplain, Anne Mulligan DCS, who is Emeriti Healthcare Chaplain at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. The service was led by Mark Evans DCS, head of spiritual care for NHS Fife, and there were contributions from Tricia Marwick, chair of NHS Fife health board, and Shona Robison MSP, cabinet secretary for health and sport.

Listen to the whole sermon on the Dunfermline Abbey website.


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