God loves the NHS

Nicki Parkinson, part of the God Loves NHS Liverpool Team tells us about the plans for this year's conference.

This conference, aimed at Christians who work in the NHS, returns on Saturday 28th September 2013. It aims to inspire, uplift and resource Christians; the day includes workshops, keynote speakers and time for worship.

Nicki Parkinson, former Nurse Manager at the Walton Centre for Neurology and now rehab co-ordinator for Network for Cheshire is part of the God Loves NHS Liverpool Team and she tells us about last year’s conference and how they plan to build on it this year.

This is the second conference – what issues came to light at the first conference? What feedback did you get? What did you learn?

Last year’s conference was a fantastic opportunity to meet other Christians who were having the same issues and challenges in the workplace.  We were able to discuss how our faith impacts those we care for and our colleagues /teams. The feedback was really good.  Responses varied from ‘Felt really cared for and valued throughout the day. Given a fresh vision....’ to ‘I was amazed and blessed, I have been very, very encouraged.’

A monthly prayer and support group meeting was set up after the conference on the Aintree site, as it was highlighted that this would be beneficial for Christian growth and mutual support.

Has the vision/organisation of the conference changed this year (i.e. is it bigger, does it have a specific theme)?

The vision is the same but perhaps a bit bolder in some of the real issues that we face every day. The theme is God should be at the centre of everything we do, but in a sensitive manner to those around us.

What topics will be discussed?

We have a wide range of seminars on offer this year; topics range from sexuality, relationships and marriage, serving in Africa, compassion and spiritual care, professionalism and making mistakes in a life and death environment, sharing your faith in the NHS, listening, stress and life balance.

This conference does not just have a range of speakers, but there are workshops on offer – why do you think it is important to have the workshop element in there?

The workshops are an informal way for people to discuss topics in smaller groups and share ideas.  We will have a wide variety of NHS staff attending including admin staff, clinicians and managers.  The seminars allow each person to have discussion about an area they are interested in and which impacts their day to day.

What plans are there for the future of the conference – will it now be an annual event in Liverpool or will it move around the Diocese?

We are hoping it will be an annual event and would like to run it in other Trusts in the region for variety.  All NHS staff and healthcare workers are welcome to attend.