The Association of Chaplaincy
in General Practice

Improving care through listening and guidance

The ACGP Team

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. He currently is a trustee and chairperson of Whole Person Health Trust.

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. She tutors at Post Graduate level on spiritual care and staff support and leads the ACGP Accreditation process for Chaplains in General Practice.

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 programmes, alongside Helen Watts, and together they run the courses online. Sarah is principal chaplain for Primary Care Chaplaincy Scotland. She is the chair of the ACGP committee.

Helen Watts has worked as a Chaplain for Wellbeing in Primary Care since 2016. As well as working with patients, she supports staff, supervises other chaplains and is involved in helping to develop chaplaincy services around the country. She has a B.Phil in Counselling and worked for many years as a counsellor in the public and private sectors, including Primary Care, and in private practice. She is a trainer, specialising in stress management, pastoral care and wellbeing. Helen is a church pastor who has travelled widely to help train others for pastoral and spiritual care ministry.

Anna Baker-Barnes is a Listening and Guidance Chaplain in Dudley & Netherton PCN and leads three teams of chaplains. Anna is part of the pastoral team at her local church where she develops community projects which see children, families and adults encouraged and equipped to live a life of purpose. Anna joined the ACGP committee in 2021 where she acknowledges the great foundations of those who have established Chaplaincy in General Practice as it continues to provide support for the spiritual needs of patients in the UK.

Sally-Ann Robinson practised as a Solicitor in Medical Law until 2016. She was also a founding member and Trustee of Headway Lincolnshire. Since retirement, she has taken on a number of voluntary roles within the Lincolnshire Methodist District, including becoming Chair of the Lincolnshire Community Healthcare Chaplaincy (LCHC). Sally-Ann joined the ACGP committee after the LCHC contributed their experiences in Chaplaincy in GP surgeries across a large, rural county at the ACGP conference in January 2021.

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.

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 has recently retired from her role as chairperson of the ACGP but remains an advisor to the committee.