A few words from Jill, our NHS Hospitals and Community-Based Services Coordinator:
‘We visit various wards in the Royal Sussex and Royal Alexandra hospitals but receive the same welcome wherever we go from patients, visitors and staff members alike. Our therapy support dogs always bring a smile to people’s faces. Our visits include places like the waiting rooms in the Sussex Cancer Centre where understandably anxious patients and family members are glad to be distracted by a happy and friendly therapy support dog and we also visit people while they are receiving treatment.
We also visit cardiology and stroke wards where patients are unable to get out of bed but can nevertheless enjoy time with a friendly and well-behaved dog sitting on a chair beside them. We find that visitors are as happy as the patients to have a completely new topic of conversation!
We also work in the children’s hospital where we visit children of all ages. They love to ask questions about the visiting dog and they sometimes even get the opportunity to play doctor themselves when given a toy stethoscope to listen to the dog’s heart and a syringe (minus needle!) to give a pretend injection. The dogs have even been used as distractions during procedures that can cause stress. No matter where we visit or what form that visit takes, our therapy support dogs leave people feeling less stressed and with a smile on their face which, I think we can all agree, is an important part of anyone’s recovery process.
Gallery, see some photos of our work in hospitals