A week of events at Stepping Hill Hospital dedicated to the importance of positive patient experience on the ward got a boost thanks to a canine carer joining in.

Therapy dog Pep was brought along by his owner Debbie Woodcock to bring a smile to patients on inpatient wards as part of patient Experience of Care Week.

Pep went down extremely well with patients, and also with staff too. Pet therapy is a long-established way of helping patients relax with the calming effect of interacting with friendly animals. It can release endorphins, and help ease pain and reduce stress for patients who wish to interact with the pets.

Pet therapy had been established at Stepping Hill Hospital in recent years, but had to stop in 2020 due to the pandemic. With some restrictions now lifted, the animals are now allowed back once more, as long as infection prevention measures are still observed.

Other activities during the week included exercise sessions with the support of hospital radio station Radio Starlion, relaxation activities, a celebration meal for St George’s Day, and the promotion of new storage boxes for patients to keep their belongings safe inside. Patients were also encouraged to give their feedback, and give their opinions on how experiences on the ward could be improved.

Emma Rogers, Matron for Patient Experience said “It was wonderful to welcome Pep on the wards as part of our Experience of Care Week; he brought a lot of joy to so many patients and colleagues too. Ensuring patients have the best possible experience is both right in itself and important for their recovery, and pet therapy is a big boost to that, so we’re delighted to be able to invite the pets on to our wards once more.”


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