The Ward 5 Phoenix Rehabilitation Unit at Broadgreen Hospital has had a special guest staying alongside one of the patients – Ozzy the guide dog.
As the patient has a visual impairment the department worked with the Guide Dogs Liverpool Mobility Team to see how they could accommodate the dog which would allow the patient’s rehabilitation goals to be achieved.
The rehabilitation team liaised with different departments within the Trust, such as facilities and infection control, to establish any current procedures or facilities in place to accommodate Ozzy the guide dog.
Katrina Casterton, physiotherapist, said; “The Guide Dogs Liverpool Mobility Team helped our department identify the most suitable place to have the toileting area and provided a temporary pen. Plus, a daily timetable was created to ensure the patient was assisted in attending to Ozzy’s needs throughout the day, until she was able to complete this independently. All the different MDT members were involved in supporting this on the ward.
Ozzy’s presence had a therapeutic effect on the ward environment, with the dog becoming a common talking point, improving morale, mood, behaviour and the socialisation between patients and staff.
Katrina added: “This has been a positive and collaborative learning experience as the team has been able to successfully address the patient's individual rehabilitation and care needs. It has highlighted the need for future service development to support the use of guide dogs within the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals.
“The team are keen to be involved in future work to develop this and are excited to look at the future potential of including animal therapy within treatment sessions to improve rehabilitation outcomes and patient experiences.”