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Wexham Park hosts faith leaders meeting

Faith leaders from across Slough joined together at Wexham Park Hospital in support of their local NHS.

Around 30 religious leaders, representing faiths including Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and others met in the hospital’s chapel to talk about key issues facing the health service locally.

They also received an update on developments at Wexham Park, including the building of a new £49m emergency department and assessment centre.

The Rev Peter Blackshire, lead chaplain at Wexham Park, said the event was an opportunity for local faith leaders to unite for the benefit of the wider community.

Topics discussed included tissue and organ donation and end of life care, and how each is viewed by different faith communities.

Rev Blackshire said: “Fiona Lisney, one of Wexham Park’s palliative care consultants, spoke about the challenges of complex end of life decision making, including advance care planning and the timing of treatment withdrawal when it is considered to be doing more harm than good.

“People of different faiths can have different views about this, so the leaders present were asked for their wisdom.

“Regarding organ donation, we know that there is a shortage of people carrying donor cards and 75% of those who do are white British. Just 25% are black or Asian.

“All the major religions in the UK support the principles of organ donation and transplantation and we all agree it is down to individual choice.

“As a result of this meeting we have been invited by our friends to their places of worship to speak about end of life issues and tissue and organ donation and give people the opportunity to become donors.

“The day was a great success and demonstrates how our communities are stronger when we work together.”

Organisers plan to make the faith leaders meeting at Wexham Park Hospital an annual event.