It's a dogs life!

Patients at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital can now look forward to a regular visit from some furry friends thanks to a new partnership with Delta Therapy Dogs.

13 Sep 2021

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Four specially trained volunteers and their therapy dogs will each visit the hospital fortnightly to improve patients’ experience at the hospital and provide a positive impact on their social, emotional, physical and physiological health.

The hospital welcomed its first therapy dog, a Golden Retriever called Bluey, in August closely followed by visits from Poppy, Charlie and Tashi.

Volunteer Coordinator Kerrie James initiated the idea at the hospital after the entire hospital team was asked to suggest ideas that would contribute to a better hospital stay for patients.

“As part of our commitment to put our patients at the centre of our care, caregivers across the hospital were asked to think of an idea that they could implement in their area.  

“Delta Therapy Dog teams are volunteers and they make a great addition to our incredible volunteer team.  

CEO Paul Dyer supported the concept that suited the hospital’s unique patient cohort.

“We are really pleased to welcome the therapy dogs to our hospital where they will visit our three rehabilitation wards and our older adult mental health ward.

“Patients in these areas often stay with us for a longer time and the dogs provide a break from their treatment which can sometimes be physically and mentally challenging.

“While it is primarily a patient initiative, the caregivers also love seeing the dogs on the ward and they provide a welcome break from their day.”

The dogs will continue to visit patients at the hospital on an ongoing basis.