Media Release

The feelgood factor of dogs at QEH

It is often said that a dog is man’s best friend – and a popular Golden Retriever has been putting a smile on the faces of patients and staff at QEH.

PAT (Pets As Therapy) dogs are not an uncommon sight in the hospital but well-behaved canines which are not part of the volunteer scheme to help people in need are also considered.

Pat Miller and Poppy
Poppy on one of her regular visits to see West Newton Ward patient Pat Miller

People on West Newton Ward have been enjoying almost daily visits by Poppy, who has been coming to see inpatient Pat Miller. The ten-year-old dog has been accompanying Mrs Miller’s daughter, Patti Brown.

Mrs Brown said: “Poppy is very popular with everyone. As soon as we walk down the corridor in the ward, people are keen to greet her. You can see the positive effect she has on patients and staff – it’s lovely to see.

“Mum likes to see Poppy – they’re good friends.”

Poppy was present as Mrs Miller, of Great Bircham, celebrated her 99th birthday last Wednesday (June 13).

Ward manager Donna Snowden said dogs are a “welcome distraction” for patients and the benefits which their presence brings are clear to see.

“Patients might themselves have pets, which they are missing, so they enjoy seeing dogs on the ward,” she added. “They do improve people’s positivity and they relax people who might be feeling anxious or stressed.”

Ward clerk Liz Williamson enrolled her cockapoo Tilly into the PAT scheme after witnessing the wellbeing lift they give to patients. Almost weekly for the past couple of years she has brought her dog in on a day off.


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