The work of hospital chaplains is not an area that I know much about. It seems to me that when you are at a low ebb health wise (ie wondering whether you are actually going to get through this crisis) some sort of spiritual support would be of great comfort. And I believe many are comforted this way. But equally if I was say Richard Dawkins or Ricky Gervais, committed atheists both, I might resent the intrusion.
But this whole episode leaves a nasty taste. The NSS is being manipulative. If they believed their arguments stood up why come out with this research just before Easter? I'd conclude that it was a spoiling tactic designed to catch the attention of the UK media to the fact that they are still around at a time when we would otherwise forget about them . Why get into bed with the Taxpayer's Alliance who have a very different agenda (and who frankly would be better advised to focus more attention on far worse examples of taxpayer waste). And finally why try and persuade us that they are highly principled sweetness and reason itself, all about human rights (everyone has the right to a religion or not to have one) and then focus on hospital chaplains as an example of religious privilege. The NSS agenda is dishonest. Like the BNP they would have us believe its about protecting the rights of all. They do not: the NSS want to eradicate religion.