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First ever protocol for animals in health care settings
“Anyone who’s worked in this area can see the amazing impact animals have on the health of adults and children alike."

Guidance hopes to dispel myths and ensure safety 

The Royal College of Nursing has published the first ever protocol to help hospitals and other health services to bring therapy animals into care settings.

A survey last year found that while the majority of nurses think animals are hugely beneficial to patients, most of their workplaces did not allow animals.

It is hoped that the new, evidence-based protocol will dispel myths about the dangers of animals in health care settings and encourage all health services to consider if animals can aid their patients.

The guidance promises to help services to ensure the safety of patients, health care staff, animals and their owners, whilst allowing patients to reap the benefits that animals can bring.

In the recent survey, nine in 10 nurses said they felt animals can improve the health of patients with depression and other mental health problems, while 60 per cent believed that animals can help speed patient recovery.

“Anyone who’s worked in this area can see the amazing impact animals have on the health of adults and children alike,” said Amanda Cheesley, RCN professional lead for long-term conditions and end-of-life care.

“However there are so many myths around the dangers of having animals in health care settings that most organisations are too concerned to try it out.

“This protocol will help to dispel these fears by supporting hospitals to include animals in the care they deliver in a safe and professional way. We hope that it will encourage all health services to consider how animals can help their patients and help us to remove the taboo from what is a really remarkable area of care.”

 

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Hen charity starts work on first rehoming centre

News Story 1
 The British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) has begun work on its first hen welfare and education centre. Located in north Devon, the 250 square metre building will comprise a state-of-the-art rehoming centre and fully equipped veterinary clinic.

Image © Guy Harrop  

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Former RCVS president to chair new Horse Welfare Board

Former RCVS president Barry Johnson has been appointed as the independent chair of a new Horse Welfare Board. Barry, who is also past chairman of World Horse Welfare, was selected by an industry panel including the British Horseracing Authority, the Racecourse Association and The Horsemenís Group.

The welfare board aims to develop a new welfare strategy covering the whole racing industry. Mr Johnson said: ďIím very pleased to have been asked by racing to take on this role and by the sportís commitment to continuous improvement in the welfare of racehorses."