Animal hospital – the therapeutic use of pets
Recent guidelines have stated how the use of animals can improve the mental well-being of patients who have long-term conditions.
Ellie Walsh’s first attempt at using animals to improve the well-being of people with mental health problems came when she brought two guinea pigs into an acute inpatient ward in 2006.
‘They lived in the garden for quite a while in a proper hutch and the patients and staff all helped looked after them. They were effective in reducing anxiety among the patients and soothing them.’
Ms Walsh, a nurse and assistant director of acute and rehabilitation services for NAViGO Health and Social Care, a community interest company in Lincolnshire, has set up a partnership with the Grimsby Institute’s animal care...
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