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Say hello to Alan Palmer, the new lead chaplain at the James Paget hospital

PUBLISHED: 11:39 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:46 18 December 2017

Rev Dr Alan Palmer is the new lead chaplain at the James Paget University Hospital.
Picture: JPUH

Rev Dr Alan Palmer is the new lead chaplain at the James Paget University Hospital. Picture: JPUH

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A new hospital chaplain says he is looking forward to providing support to staff and patients and their families.

Rev Dr Alan Palmer has been appointed as the new lead chaplain at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston.

Dr Palmer has served 23 years as a minister in the UK, Canada and Belgium.

He started at a parish near Bury St Edmunds and went to work in Vancouver and serve an ex-pat community in Belgium which included 26 different nationalities.

He has combined his parish duties with teaching and training at universities and schools, and researching and authoring publications.

He moved into working with the NHS at Ipswich Hospital, where he was deputy lead chaplain.

Dr Palmer, who lives in Lowestoft, said: “I’ve been travelling back and forth from Ipswich, and between Belgium and Canada, on a regular basis over the past few years, so having one base is going to be good.

“I want to see a modern professional chaplaincy that fits the needs of the hospital and to ensure our service is as up-to-date and as relevant as possible – being multi-disciplinary and supportive.

“I want to develop the staff–focussed side of the role, both to provide resilience training for staff and to be available for anyone who wants to talk confidentially one to one.

“I will be going around the various wards and departments in the hospital so people can get to know me and can speak to me if they wish to.”

He is also working on a research paper on compassion and connective leadership, looking at different models of leadership and the psychological aspects of compassion.

Julia Hunt, the hospital’s director of nursing, said: “We are delighted to welcome Alan, who is already pro-actively going around the hospital to talk to patients, staff and visitors about his role.

“The chapel and chaplaincy service is available to all, so people are encouraged to talk to Alan and his team as they can offer support and a listening ear.”

The hospital chapel is on the ground floor near to the lifts on the front corridor of the hospital near to the main entrance.

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