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Therapy animals pay a visit to HPFT inpatient units

17 May 24

Inpatient service users at our Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP) were delighted to meet a variety of Pets as Therapy (PAT) animals, including guinea pigs, chickens, bunnies and a Shetland pony. This included visits to Elizabeth Court, Lambourn Grove, Wren Ward, Logandene and Seward Lodge.

Animal Assisted Therapy plays a role in enhancing service users’ wellbeing through cultivating a sense of companionship and reducing feelings of loneliness – since our service users have had pets throughout their lives, this allows them to engage in previous roles and gain the comfort from animals that they would have had at home. As a therapeutic intervention, it encourages engagement, conversations, interactions and reminiscence.


Service users shared their thoughts about the day:

“I loved every moment”.

“I love the animals, they are lovely. I’m a country girl and I love stallions”.


Staff members said:

“I noticed a visible positive change in a service user’s mood. They appeared to be chattier and more open”.

“The difference in the service users is unbelievable. They still speak about it days after the visit”.


Naomi Campbell, Assistant Therapy Practitioner at Elizabeth Court, reflects that it was a great afternoon and was “very therapeutic and beneficial to all involved”, expressing that staff also got involved and enjoyed the day.

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