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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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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”