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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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UK a step closer to ivory ban

News Story 1
 A UK ban on ivory sales is one step closer to coming into force, as the government has introduced the Ivory Bill to parliament. The ban covers items of all ages, rather than just ivory carved after 1947. Anyone breaching the ban will face an unlimited fine or up to five years in jail.

Conservationists have welcomed the bill, which comes less than six weeks after the government published the results of a consultation on this issue. Around 55 African elephants are now slaughtered for their ivory every day and the illegal wildlife trade is estimated to be worth £17 billion a year.  

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Strategic alliance to support development of agri-food sector

The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Queen’s University Belfast have formed a new strategic alliance that will see both institutions form a research and education partnership.

Under the agreement, the organisations will pool their resources and expertise to support the development of the agri-food sector. It will work across three core themes: enabling innovation, facilitating new ways of working and partnerships.