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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Plan to boost access to animal therapy

Wednesday June 21st, 2017

A national protocol is being devised for the use of animal therapy in health care, it has been announced.

The Royal College of Nursing is writing the document following a recent survey of over 750 nurses which found that 90% thought animals can improve the health of patients with depression and other mental health problems, and 60% said the presence of animals could speed patient recovery.

Currently, animals are not allowed in most health settings. The authors hope the new protocol will encourage hospitals and other health settings to offer animal therapy. It will outline best practice criteria, based on reliable evidence.

Amanda Cheesley, the College's Professional Lead for Long-term Conditions and End-of-Life Care, is leading the new protocol.

She says: "Anyone who's worked in this area can see the amazing impact animals have on the health of adults and children alike. However there are so many myths around the dangers of having animals in health care settings that most organisations are too concerned to try it out.

"This protocol will help to dispel these fears by supporting hospitals to include animals in the care they deliver in a safe and professional way. We hope that it will encourage all health services to consider how animals can help their patients and help us to remove the taboo from what is a really remarkable area of care."

The protocol will include contributions from expert charities, nursing staff and a variety of health care organisations, and is due to be launched later this year.

Tags: Alternative Therapy | NHS | Nursing & Midwifery | UK News

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