Rafiq ul Allam is the Muslim Chaplain at UHBW.

He works two days a week, with one day funded by the UHBW Trust focusing on patients of all faiths and none, and one day funded by Bristol & Weston Hospitals Charity, with a particular focus on Muslim patients.

Rafiq has been in the post since 2017, during which time:

  • He has made 355 visits, of which 314 were to Muslim patients and families
  • 144 of these were to support families at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children (BRHC)
  • He has responded to 11 out of hours emergency calls.

"My support can include telling people about halal food options and the correct direction in which they should pray. As Muslims whenever and wherever we are pray we should face Makkah (Mecca), which is a central point for us. In Arabic, the direction is called qibla. I tell Muslim patients and staff which way the qibla is and they are really happy about it because they feel supported in the practice of their faith." - Rafiq ul Alam

From supporting babies in NICU having end of life care to the families of elderly patients, Rafiq's care includes helping those who do not speak much English, being a point of stability a family can depend on and offering support over extended periods of time.

In addition to his direct patient work, the Chaplain has:

  • Issued approximately 60 Quran Cubes (special audio devices containing the Quran and Islamic spiritual guidance) to patients in hospital. These were provided free of charge.
  • Helped to support the development of a spiritual care assessment tool by giving due consideration to the Muslim community.
  • Advised on the use and control of Trust sanctuaries by Muslim staff and patients under Covid-19 restrictions.
  • Provided support, prayer and encouragement to Muslim staff throughout the pandemic, enabling them to keep going and provide good patient focused care.
  • Continued to develop links with local Mosques and Imams to promote and improve the quality of patient spiritual, religious and pastoral care.
  • Begun working on the provision of new additional chaplaincy resources to support spiritual care for the Muslim community of patients and staff.

Reverend Mark Read, Chaplaincy Team Leader at UHBW, said: "The past year has brought new and unexpected challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic, including a restriction on many routine patient visits in order to reduce the potential transmission of Covid-19 between wards and patients.

"Rafiq has however, continued to visit as many patients as possible and like all the chaplains, has concentrated on support for those requiring essential care including those patients approaching the end of life."

With your support we can continue to ensure every patient treated at our hospitals has the best possible experience for their individual needs.

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