"The taxpayer is required to pay £40m a year to cover the costs of having chaplains on call in hospitals. An obvious alternative...would be for patients to be visited by their own local vicar, rabbi or imam.
"In a population of over 6o million, a little over 1.1 million regularly attend Church of England services. In hospital, even allowing for a few thousand panicky, injury-time conversions to faith, the non-believers are in a majority.
"It is bizarre, and occasionally downright sadistic, that the grievously sick, the dying and the bereaved are forced into the arms of a priest, whether or not they happen to be believers."
I hadn't even realised that we tax payers were paying for hospital chaplains. Surely £40m would be better spent on training and employing more nurses, buying new equipment, or on providing better hospital food (which has also been under fire in the news lately due to its poor nutritional standards.)