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Hospital moves beds to face Mecca


5 December, 2007  

Hospital managers in West Yorkshire have implemented a system which requires staff to turn the beds of some Muslim patients to face Mecca, it has emerged.

Nurses at Dewsbury and District Hospital are also providing halal meals and shower facilities to accommodate the needs of Islamic patients.

Staff are also receiving extra training on how to help these people stay true to their faith on a daily basis.

A spokeswoman for the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said staff are positioning the beds of “very ill” Muslim patients to face the Qibla in Mecca if they so request.

Catherine Briggs, matron at the hospital, said: “We are committed to providing the highest possible standards of care to every one of our patients and we know that Dewsbury and District Hospital treats a high number of patients from the Muslim community.

“We always do our best to listen to our patients and are willing to adapt our nursing practices where possible to help patients uphold their cultural beliefs.

“Some of our former Muslim patients suggested that a more informed understanding of the Islamic cultures would help staff to further improve their service.

“In response to these comments I have been working with Moulana Ilyas Dalal, our senior Muslim chaplain at the hospital, to develop a training package that will better inform staff of the different cultural and religious needs of patients.”

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Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust