Helping patients recover

Pet and Patient interaction at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital
Pet and Patient interaction at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital

The Luton and Dunstable University Hospital welcomed its newest member of staff last week, Jaz the Red Setter.

As part of its ongoing commitment to improve patient experience, the hospital has been working with national charity, Pets As Therapy (PAT), to provide therapeutic sessions for dog-loving patients.

Helen Judkins (Associate Director of Nursing), Karin Stay, Sheran Oake (Director Nursing & Midwifery)

Helen Judkins (Associate Director of Nursing), Karin Stay, Sheran Oake (Director Nursing & Midwifery)

Jaz and his owner Karin Stay will be at the hospital’s Therapy Hub every Wednesday afternoon for patients to visit. Allowing interaction with pets helps to promote a sense of wellbeing for patients, combating feelings of loneliness and stress through the affection they provide.

Sheran Oke, Director of Nursing and Midwifery at the hospital said: “This is something we have wanted to do for a while and I’m delighted that Karin has joined us as a volunteer so that Jaz can meet with our patients on a regular basis.

“It’s great to see the impact that Jaz has already made by spreading cheer here at the L&D, and I am sure he will make a significant contribution to our patients’ wellbeing.”

Jaz has been specially trained by Karin to provide companionship and friendship to individuals in public environments.

All PAT registered dogs are behaviourally assessed to ensure safety and health requirements are met before being introduced to the hospital.

Karin said: “Jaz has previous experience working with elderly people at local care homes and it is amazing to see the difference that he can make to the quality of life for the many people that he meets.”