A recent episode of Holby City showed a chaplain - described as a 'lay reader' from the so-called Holby Christian Fellowship - visiting a patient.

Despite having no badge, security clearance or Criminal Records Bureau check, he appeared to wander randomly through the hospital, even into the theatre viewing room. He also appeared to come very close to trying to convert one doctor.

As president of the College of Health Care Chaplains - the national professional association for NHS chaplains - can I assure readers that this is not the real face of chaplaincy in the NHS.

Chaplains are employed to provide spiritual and pastoral care, not to proselytise. They are all authorised by an appropriate faith community and by the hospital in which they work - this includes criminal records clearance and badges.

Many chaplains believe this and other portrayals of their work in similar hospital soaps seriously misrepresent both the levels of chaplaincy provision in NHS hospitals and the pastoral and spiritual care chaplains provide. It is a classic case of accuracy being sacrificed in pursuit of TV ratings.

The Reverend Anne Aldridge, Unite/College of Health Care Chaplains