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Four-legged friend Florence is a Walsall hit

2023-07-21T17:23:38+01:00Friday 21 July 2023|
  • Florence visits ICU

She’s got four legs, a super shiny nose and a waggy tail – and she’s the “pawfect” pick me up for patients at Walsall Manor Hospital!

Florence, a roan cocker spaniel, will be visiting wards from next month now that Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has partnered with the national Pets As Therapy charity.

Pets As Therapy sees volunteers bringing regular animal companionship to people in hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and prison and fosters reading confidence in children in schools with visits from registered, temperament-tested pets.

And eight-year-old Florence’s “trial visit” with volunteer Helen Stevenson earlier this week, where she visited the Intensive Care Unit and Children’s Ward, went down a treat.

Walsall’s new furry friend has been organised through the Trust’s Patient Relations & Experience Team.

Andrew Rice, Patient Experience and Voluntary Services Manager, said: “We can’t wait for Florence to become a weekly visitor.

“Her trial visit with Gayle Johnston from our team went so well and she melted everyone’s hearts. We think our patients will get a lot of joy from such visits – you can’t help but smile when you see Florence.

“It’s thanks to staff in our Infection Prevention and Control Team and the efforts of rehab colleagues and others that we are now able to offer this to our patients.”

Patient Angie Smith really cheered up when she met Florence on ICU. “She’s lovely, what a good idea,” she said.

Xana Marriott, Senior Sister for Critical Care Rehabilitation, said “The team is thrilled that Pets as Therapy is being offered at the Manor Hospital soon. Many of our patients are animal lovers and will get so much out of being able to see Florence the dog, who is just adorable!

“We have been working with Patient Experience to make this happen and know our patients will really benefit from this.”

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