Find out more about Pets in Hospital
Pets in Hospital is a service being offered to patients at University Hospitals Birmingham, supported by QEHB Charity. Research has shown that animals can have a positive impact on improving patient wellbeing.
Pets have shown to reduce anxiety, help reduce the perceived level of pain experienced by a patient through distraction therapy, enhance patient communication and interaction, and promote a calm and positive working environment for staff and patients.
The scheme enables a patient to receive a visit from a dog with the aim that it will imrpove the experience of their hospital stay and enhance their recovery.
Below are some frequently asked questions that will help you to understand more about Pets in Hospital.
Can all patients receive a visit?
No, unfortunately some patients will not be eligible for a visit due to safety concerns, this includes patients isolated for infection control reasons, patients who are immunocompromised, have open wounds, or have a phobia or allergy to dogs.
What about the infection risk of bringing dogs into the hospital?
The Trust has taken the advice of the Infection Control team and considers Pets in Hospital safe to implement. The animals will all be appropriately vaccinated, wormed and deflead. Only after being given a clean bill of health (proven through written veterinary records) will they be used as part of the Pets in Hospital service.
As with all visitors to the Trust, the dog handlers will wash their hands between visiting patients and those who touch the dog will also be instructed to wash their hands. The handler will be carrying hand sanitiser which will be available for use.
What if I have a phobia of dogs?
If a patient or visitor has a phobia of dogs they should let the staff on their ward know, and the dogs will not visit them. The Pets in Hospital dogs can be clearly identified as they will wear a name badge and a coat with the log on it. The handler will always have the dog on a lead and will not approach patients unless they request a visit.
What if I have a dog allergy?
If a patient or visitor is allergic to dog fur then they should let staff on the ward know and they will ensure that the dog does not visit their bed space.
Download the form on this page, fill it in and send it back to the Charity to support the Pets in Hospital scheme.