Therapy dogs to be introduced at NNUH
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) is delighted to be introducing the Pets As Therapy (PAT) programme to help promote wellbeing and support a quicker recovery for patients.
The hospital has teamed up with Pets As Therapy (PAT), a charity founded in 1983 where dedicated volunteers and their calm and friendly pets visit people in a variety of settings so they can benefit from animal assisted therapy (AAT).
Initially, the scheme will be offered to inpatients on the Trust’s Neurology ward, with visits taking place following a referral from the ward Sister on areas identified as suitable by the NNUH Infection Prevention and Control team.
Andree Glaysher, Ward Sister for Heydon Neurology said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be introducing Pets as Therapy to our Neurology and OPM wards. Staying in hospital can often be a stressful time for patients and having the dogs on the wards will be a great way to bring joy and companionship and support the wellbeing of our patients.”
Sally Dyson, Voluntary Services Manager at NNUH said: “Research has provided solid evidence that dogs can have a very positive and beneficial effect on a patient’s wellbeing and assist a speedier recovery. The companionship of a dog and their handler can decrease loneliness, stimulate conversation, encourage movement and social interaction. We’re very pleased to be introducing this programme to NNUH and so grateful to those at the charity for sparing their time to support our patients.”
The first PAT Teams to visit patients at NNUH will be Buddy and his owner Angela, Abbee and her owner Wendy, Minty and her owner Sophia, Lily and her owner Anne plus Stella with her handler Carole.
All PAT Teams related to this service are registered with the national charity, PAT. All owners and handlers will complete an additional Trust level recruitment process, and all PAT dogs are required to be fully vaccinated, temperament and health assessed prior to beginning their PAT dog duties.
Carole Adam, Volunteer Area Coordinator and Dog Assessor for PAT Norwich said: “PAT is the UK’s leading charity who provides animal assisted therapy. We enhance health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally assessed animals. PAT Teams continue to make a significant difference to the lives of people in Norfolk and we hope we can bring a little joy to inpatients at NNUH.”
If you are interested in volunteering with Pets As Therapy and feel your pet could bring a little joy to someone as a therapy animal, please visit www.petsastherapy.org or contact Carole Adam via firstname.lastname@example.org