Therapy dogs ‘to be allowed onto hospital wards to help the sick and terminally ill’
The first ever NHS animal protocol will be unveiled on Monday at the Royal College of Nursing’s annual conference in Belfast – calling on a ban to be lifted.
Animals may soon be allowed onto hospital wards to help the sick and terminally ill.
Therapy Dogs could be a regular sight on wards and boost the mental welfare of patients.
The first ever NHS animal protocol will be unveiled on Monday at the Royal College of Nursing’s annual conference in Belfast.
The college is calling for all-out bans on animals in hospitals to be lifted as the sick are missing out.
Charity Pets as Therapy offers highly trained animals to schools and care homes and is poised to expand in to the NHS.
The system is being pioneered with dogs Leo and Lottie at Southampton General Hospital.
Leo’s owner Lyndsey Uglow said: “There’s no way the NHS would pay for this but these dogs are a free volunteer workforce.
“In the US there are a lot more animal interventions and we are only now catching up. When you walk on to the ward there’s always a gasp and the children love it.
“We enjoy doing it and the reward you get is seeing the reaction of the patients and the dogs enjoying it.”
Leo is specially trained to support children and has helped many with cancers and serious brain conditions.
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