The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust (PAHT) are working in partnership with Pets as Therapy, a national charity that helps to enhance the health and wellbeing of thousands of patients across the UK.
The charity strive to ensure that everyone, no matter their circumstances, has access to the companionship of an animal. Their friendly pets visit hospitals, care homes, hospices and schools.
Alison Lawrence, deputy voluntary services manager at PAHT, said: “We are delighted to welcome Pets as Therapy to the hospital to help make a difference for our patients. “To begin with, our furry four-legged visitors are spending time with our patients living with dementia.
“The therapeutic value of human and animal interaction is now well recognised and research suggests that introducing a companion animal into a hospital can result in patients feeling more at ease, communicative and more motivated to engage.”
Sharon McNally, director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at PAHT, said: “A huge thank you to Pets as Therapy and their hard working volunteers who generously give up their spare time to help others.
“We know that the animals will be extremely beneficial for our patients living with dementia, to help stimulate their memory, improve communication, develop their confidence and bring a smile to their faces.
“Although it is tempting to pet the animals, infection control remains our absolute priority and so we ask that our staff and other patients refrain from stroking the dogs.”