A NEW pray space for all faiths has been opened for visitors and staff at Basingstoke hospital.

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

Members from the Hindu, Christian and Muslim communities across Basingstoke and representatives from the Inter Faith Network for the town were present at the opening of the room by mayor of Basingstoke and Deane, Councilor Diane Taylor.

Vakey Eappen, lead chaplain at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Basingstoke hospital, as well as hospitals in Andover and Winchester, said: “Our Trust is now able to offer medical and spiritual care to all faiths, which is excellent.

“I’m so pleased as it has been my dream since I joined Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust to be able to celebrate and recognise different ways of life, beliefs, attitudes to faith and religion, allowing us to add further value to our well-recognised work.”

As well as members of different faiths, Basingstoke’s MP Maria Miller and the hospital trusts chief executive Alex Whitfield were among the guest who go to see the new room.

Dr Mohammed Shahir is one of the members of staff who will be using the multi faith room on a regular basis, he said: “I am very happy with this expansion and I think this is a very positive move forward for our Trust in terms of inclusivity, respect and understanding.

“I am a Muslim and although we feel very welcome to use the space in the Chapel, sometimes it is difficult to focus on prayers without the correct facilities, like the washroom, but with this new development it is nice to have a space to really focus on our prayers.”