Religion & Belief - Raising Awareness


27 / 6 / 2014 12.03pm


This month we wanted to highlight the key role that religion and belief plays in the daily lives of staff who are employed by the NHS. We have included some key facts, good practice examples, as well as details of where you can find further information, guidance, advice and support:

The NHS is committed to recognising the needs of patients and staff of diverse religious groups, and to responding sensitively and appropriately to their needs.  This has led to many NHS trusts developing an increased awareness of issues of faith diversity and the implications for staff in the workplace. This includes consulting with staff to understand their faith requirements more fully, and by reviewing and exploring policies and practices.  

Employers have also taken other steps towards creating a work environment that is more supportive of people of faith. Such as, creating a multi-faith network, by offering a prayer room or quiet room for their staff or marking one or two non-Christian religious festivals such as Eid or Diwali. In the month of July it is estimated that 12 different religious events will take place:

  • Commencement of Ramadan (Fasting) for Muslims
  • Birthday of Guru Hargobind (Nanakshahi calendar) (Sikh)
  • Martyrdom of the Bab (Bahai)
  • Asala - Dharma Day (Buddhist)
  • St Swithin's Day (Christian)
  • Jamshedi Noruz (Qadimi) (Zoroastrian)
  • St Mary Magdalene (Christian)
  • Birthday of Haile Selassie I (Rastafari)
  • Birthday of Guru Har Krishen (Nanakshahi calendar) (Sikh)
  • Pioneer Day (Mormon)
  • Khordad Sal (Qadimi) (Zoroastrian)
  • Eid-Ul-Fitr (Muslim)

Key facts, figures and information

  • In 2011, the Census collected information about religious identity. Just over three-quarters of the UK population reported having a religion. 59.4% said that their religion was Christian. After Christianity, Islam was the most common faith with nearly 5% describing their religion as Muslim, with Hinduism at 1.5%, other religions at 2.2%, The Census also indicated that 24.7% declared they were non religious whilst 7.2% failed to state their religion.
  • There is a growing body of empirical research showing that meditation and contemplative forms of prayer have a range of measurable beneficial effects on health and well-being. For example, increasing the ability to focus and be attentive, helping to manage stress, boosting the immune system, and helping to combat depression and boost creativity. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has some information .   

Tips, examples and guidance for good practice

Further guidance, advice and support:

Latest Tweets

Why Register?

Great reasons to register with NHS Employers

  • A personalised website
    Manage your profile and select topics of interest to you
  • Access your dashboard
    Bookmark useful content to help you quickly find what you're looking for
  • Get involved
    Contribute to our Talking Points discussions, comment on and rate our webpages
  • Keep up to date
    Receive the latest newsletters and media summaries

Sounds great, what next?

Register Now

Not now, I will register later

Log In