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Whole Person Health Trust Clinic

Information for patients
This leaflet provides essential information for all patients coming to the clinic. Please read it and if you have any questions ask any member of staff. ( PLEASE NOTE that the Clinic is NOT accepting patients at this time and finished in 2006).

What is whole-person health Care?

Whole-person health care is based on a clearly defined set of principles.  The seven basic principles of a whole-person approach are as follows.

Each person is unique, of equal value, and created as a relational being. Health and wholeness thus includes participating in healthy relationships with ourselves, our environment, other people and with God.  To be healthy we have to understand our strengths and weaknesses, using life’s experiences to grow in understanding and wisdom.

2 Each person has constituent parts such as body, mind and spirit, but we emphasise that the person acts as a whole, and both health and illness affect all parts of the person.

3  A state of good health may be expressed in physical, psychological, emotional, relational, social and spiritual terms.  Health is not the absence of disease or even of symptoms, rather it is the successful adaptation of the person to those dis-ease processes occurring within them. Healthy responses can therefore be made even in the presence of severe and chronic diseases. 

4  Health problems may occur in each part of a person and may then affect all the other parts. It is not helpful to partition the person into physical, psychological and spiritual, without recognising the inter-relatedness of all the parts.  Many physical diseases also have a psychological component, and it is recognized that responding to illness requires support that includes physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual elements.

5  We may define ill-health by the equation:
            State of health  =  disease or health problem  +  personal response to the problem
Personal attributes have a large part to play in both the causation and the healing of illness whether it is mainly physical or psychological. 

6  Belief and faith are important components of healing.  We all need to put our faith in things or people to bring about change. Faith may be considered as belief in action, we therefore need to explore and understand health beliefs and attitudes.

7  A healthy person is one who is in control of their own health. We seek to empower patients as they manage their illnesses and seek for help from caring and medical agencies.

What will happen to me?

The following statements summarise our aims in the clinic. The actual procedures used will be personally tailored to each person’s needs. We aim to:

  1. Assist in a personal analysis which highlights strengths and weaknesses, allowing the person to examine the ways in which they respond to illness.
  2. Examine the person’s moods and thoughts to uncover hidden personal problems and issues which may contribute to their health problems.
  3. Explore the social support networks and relationships in the person’s life and see in what ways they can be strengthened.
  4. Examine issues around the amount of personal control in health care, enabling a more positive participation of the person in the process of becoming healthier.
  5. Explore beliefs, attitudes and values about life, health and illness. This will involve a “whole-person check-up” to maximise the positive aspects of physical, psychological, social and spiritual elements in their life.

If this all sounds a bit technical, don’t worry.  We will offer you a series of informal discussions with various team members, and suggest various exercises which you can undertake to help look at all the issues in your life which play a part in being as healthy as possible.  Above all we are seeking to help you take control of all the personal aspects of health, which may influence whether you get ill, and how you cope when you are ill.

How long will I attend for?

After an initial consultation with the Medical Director an assessment programme will be agreed.  This will involve you attending the clinic for several sessions spread over a few weeks. At the end of this stage we will all together produce an assessment of all medical and whole-person related problems which we will present to you at a clinic session.  This assessment will lead to an action plan which will outline the proposals we make for further help.

At this stage we may all decide with you that no further help can be given by the clinic and we will return you to the care of your GP. A referral to another agency may be suggested, or further help may be offered in the clinic.  If a further programme of help is indicated we will agree how many sessions this would be for, and how long it will take. For the first year the clinic sessions will only take place on Friday mornings, but later other days will be added.

Who are the staff at the clinic?

The clinic Medical Director is Dr Michael Sheldon, a local GP

The main counsellor is Dr Nick Read who will concentrate on emotional and psychological issues.

Other counsellors and pastors will assist and also look at you from the spiritual dimension.

Will I have to pay?

Although the clinic is not part of the National Health Service there are no charges made to patients.  The clinic runs as a charity and so if you wish to make a contribution it will be gratefully received.

How do I get referred to the clinic?

All patients need to be either referred directly by their General Practitioner, or if another person (such as a social worker) has made the referral then your GP will be informed and asked to agree that the clinic will be appropriate for you in the light of any other medical problems.

Is this a Christian clinic?

YES     in that all the staff are committed Christians in main stream churches
YES     in that the beliefs and principles underlying the approaches used are based on the practical out-workings of the Christian ethic

HOWEVER     all patients, of any beliefs or of none will be welcome.  Our exploration of the Whole-Person will be conducted at the level the patient wishes and feels appropriate.  All help will be decided in consultation with the patient.  Specifically Christian counselling approaches will be available on request.

Article reference: www.wphtrust.com/patientinformation.html by Dr Michael G Sheldon,
first written 20 Feb 2004, this version October 19, 2011 , (c) WPH Trust
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