Pets as Therapy extended to NNUH children’s ward
The children’s ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) has received its first visit from Pets As Therapy (PAT) dogs.
Following a successful pilot on the Trust’s Neurology ward, volunteers from PAT have been given the go-ahead to visit other parts of the hospital.
The hospital teamed up with PAT earlier this year where dedicated volunteers and their calm and friendly pets visit people so they can benefit from animal assisted therapy.
The PAT volunteers and their dogs have visited Buxton ward for the last two weeks and have received a warm welcome from patients and their families.
Carole Adam, Volunteer Area Coordinator and Dog Assessor for PAT Norwich, said: “I’m delighted that it has taken off at NNUH and the reaction has been fantastic. Staff and patients have been interacting with the dogs and talking to the volunteers.
The dogs make people happy. They encourage people to communicate and to feel better by relaxing and de-stressing people.”
All PAT dogs and volunteers who visit NNUH are registered with the national charity, PAT. All owners and handlers also complete an additional Trust recruitment process, and all PAT dogs are required to be fully vaccinated, temperament and health assessed prior to beginning their PAT dog duties.
Sally Dyson, Voluntary Services Manager at NNUH, said: “The PAT team have become celebrities at the hospital and are always greeted with lots of smiles and attention. It is wonderful to see the impact of animal assisted therapy in the hospital and we are very grateful to the PAT volunteers for the time they give to our patients and staff.”