Chaplaincy services cut in 40% of English NHS hospital trusts

The BBC's FOI request was sent to 163 acute hospital NHS trusts in England - 160 responded.

The request asked for the number of healthcare chaplains working at the trust in each year from 2009 to 2013, and for the number of hours worked per week by chaplains at the trust in each year from 2009 to 2013.

The figures show that:

  • 39% of trusts had fewer chaplains in 2013 - or a lower Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) - than they did in 2009
  • 47% of trusts had fewer chaplaincy hours
  • 25% of trusts increased hours
  • The net total reduction of hours from 2009 to 2013 was 1,380 - a reduction of 8%

* WTE stands for Whole Time Equivalent, which is how the NHS measures its staffing. i.e. 2.63 WTE could be three people doing the job.