The Association of Chaplaincy
in General Practice

Improving care through listening and guidance

The ACGP Team

Fiona Collins trained as an Engineer. She had experience being a Lay Pastor in a large church before working as a Chaplain for Wellbeing for nine years in two contexts of General Practice. The first was a Medical Centre based within a three centre group then also under the Mental Health and Wellbeing Hub for Sandwell and West Birmingham. She then became involved in Management of a team of Chaplains and also provided Supervision for Chaplains. Fiona currently chairs the Association of Chaplains in General Practice but plans to retire from this role in October 2021.

Sarah Giffen has been a primary care chaplain since 2013: seeing patients, developing the service and involved in research into primary care chaplaincy. She has an MSc in Advanced Healthcare with a specialism in Chaplaincy. Sarah has developed the ACGP training programme, ‘Foundations of Primary Care Chaplaincy’, alongside Helen Watts, and together they run the training course online. Sarah is principal chaplain for Primary Care Chaplaincy Scotland and will also become the ACGP Chair in October 2021.

Ross Bryson has worked as a GP in a multicultural urban context for over 30 years. He has seen both the range of human need and the potential to meet that need through a compassionate and integrated primary healthcare team. He has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practice on account of his work in developing whole person healthcare. Understanding how the universal needs of the human spirit can be recognised and cared for in General Practice led Ross to establish an NHS GP Chaplaincy service in 1997. He has been involved in the research and development of this since then, which has included providing this service to the NHS within wellbeing hubs and defining professional standards for primary care chaplaincy.

Liz Bryson has a background in education and currently works in Paediatric Chaplaincy offering pastoral, spiritual and religious care to children, families and staff. Her journey in understanding the needs of the human spirit has been shaped by raising four children to adulthood; being a long-term carer for a disabled child; experiencing and processing loss through the death of an adult daughter; mentoring individuals and couples within a faith community; and working with her husband Ross in developing Chaplaincy in General Practice and its Accreditation Process.

Gordon MacDonald is a GP in Glasgow where the chaplaincy service has been running for 12 years and has expanded into their local cluster of practices. He has carried out various research into primary care chaplaincy and spoken at ACGP conferences in 2019 and 2021. Gordon is an advisor to the ACGP.