Molly a patient’s best friend

05 February 2016

At Chelsea and Westminster Hospital we have introduced the PAT (Pets As Therapy) Dog First Programme in the stroke ward thanks to a former patient Amanda who understood the value of stimulating patients’ interaction with her lovely dog Humphrey.

Photo: Molly visits with two patients on the stroke ward

At Chelsea and Westminster Hospital we have introduced the PAT (Pets As Therapy) Dog First Programme in the stroke ward thanks to a former patient Amanda who understood the value of stimulating patients’ interaction with her lovely dog Humphrey.

Now we have another PAT dog—Molly—who comes to the paediatric and stroke wards every Thursday morning with her owner and volunteer Michelle. Animals have long been recognised as a positive force in the healing process and dogs have a calming and therapeutic effect.

Patients can stroke their warm, furry visitor, encouraging social interaction and physical movement. Dogs love almost anyone without prejudice and they eliminate the language barrier, so even patients who cannot talk have the opportunity to experience such stimulating contact.

Therapy dogs are highly trained—they must be tested, observed and certified by PAT, a national therapy dog organisation which provides insurance and identification dog tags.

A good therapy dog is one who likes meeting people, gentle, adaptable to new environments, and totally non-aggressive before being accepted as a PAT therapy dog.

Molly is an exceptional example and has already conquered the hearts of many children and adults. She makes a great contribution to our patient experience.