The Pets As Therapy (PAT) charity has started to bring its ‘four-legged friends’ to visit hospital patients and staff in Lincolnshire thanks to funding from the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity. 

Pets As Therapy, aims to improve health and wellbeing through the visits, brought their dogs onto wards across United Lincolnshire

 Hospitals NHS Trust.

A labradoodle called Ruby and a terrier called Patrick visited wards at Lincoln County Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital, Boston, and Grantham and District Hospital, cheering up patients and staff.

Carol Marchant, who was staying on a ward at Grantham, said: “Seeing Patrick has been so lovely. I had only just finished on FaceTime with my own dogs when Patrick came in. It was just what I needed. The visit was so uplifting for me. Thank you.”

A staff member added: “Having these visits is not only great for our patients but also our staff. There has been a real buzz around the wards and areas where the visits have taken place. It really has been great for everyone. I cannot believe how well behaved and well trained they are.”

Matthew Robinson, Head of Income Generation and Marketing at PAT, said: “We are delighted to see our volunteers visiting the Trust and the difference it will bring to patients. It was clear to see from the first visit how much comfort the animals can bring.

“The joy on patients’ faces is what it is all about and we want to continue bringing this to those in hospital.”

Pets As Therapy has been around since 1983 and is all about understanding the importance of people having access to the

 companionship of

 a friendly pet.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals Charity is funding the visits and hopes to make them a regular occurrence. Charity Fundraiser Gary Burr said: “We have been advocating for PAT dogs to visit the Trust for quite some time, and are thrilled we were finally able to make this happen. The charity is here to support incredible initiatives like this and improve patient experience.

“We are very grateful to the Patient Experience Team and the PAT charity for supporting this project. Going onto the wards and seeing patients’ faces when the dogs visited showed me just how important this is for their wellbeing.

“We look forward to continuing this as regularly as possible and giving as many patients as possible access to a furry friend.”