Multi faith room 1.JPGPatients, visitors and staff at Royal Hampshire County Hospital now have an additional space in which to pray.

A new multi faith room, which contains special washing facilities for Muslims, is now available as part of the chaplaincy facilities at Winchester hospital.

The room was officially opened by the Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Eleanor Bell, with Winchester MP Steve Brine and Alex Whitfield, chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, also in attendance.

Dr Zeeshan Arfeen is one of the members of staff who will be using the multi faith room on a regular basis.

“I am very pleased that we have this space in which to pray,” he said. “It’s a wonderful initiative and shows that the Trust is really inclusive.

Multi faith room 2.JPG“I am a Muslim and while we have been able to use one of the spare rooms or the chapel to pray, there wasn’t really enough space and we sometimes felt we were disrupting other people. The chaplains have been fantastic and have worked really hard to get this extra space. We cannot thank them enough.”

Christine Whitehead, one of the chaplains at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Winchester hospital, as well as hospitals in Andover and Basingstoke, added: “People of any faith are able to use the room and it will be available for Muslims to use five times a day for their prayers.

“I’m delighted that we are now able to offer a space and facilities appropriate for the prayer needs of colleagues, patients and visitors of all faiths. Chaplaincy services are available to everybody in our hospitals and this is a public demonstration that we are here to support all patients, staff and visitors’ spiritual needs.”