The Healthcare Reference Group was created in 2003 following a new initiative of the Bishops to give pastoral support to those working in healthcare in England and Wales.
It is part of the Bishops’ Conference Department for Social Justice and is chaired by Bishop Paul Mason.
Over the past three years the group has pursued a project to focus on social care in addition to healthcare but it has been decided that, in order to avoid duplication of work on social care already being undertaken by the Catholic Social Action Network (CSAN), the Department will again concentrate principally on healthcare.
The role of the Bishops’ Conference in the field of healthcare is to advise, consult and inform on key healthcare issues and a recent review of the Healthcare Reference Group’s work has shaped its future structure and mission.
Two groups will work together to assist the Bishops’ Conference fulfil its role with an informed and authentic voice:
This group will be drawn from people with a wide range of healthcare experience to offer advice on issues and give feedback and reactions. Communication will be through an email network and there are plans for an annual gathering as well as a monthly or quarterly email newsletter.
Currently the HEG comprises – Bishop Paul Mason (Bishop for Healthcare), Greg Pope (Assistant General Secretary), Steph MacGillivray (Research and Policy), Jim McManus (Public Health England – external advisor), David A Jones (Director Anscombe Bioethics Centre – external advisor)
Three themes have been identified as areas in which the Bishops’ Conference has a valuable voice in the field of healthcare:
To support this work it is proposed that a healthcare website reflecting an ‘art of living well’ be developed. The website will broadly:
If you would like to belong to the Healthcare Network please email: Stephanie MacGillivray