St Michael’s Hospice recognises the power of pet ‘therapy’ to aid stimulation and communication. Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the well-being of patients and lower the rate of anxiety, simply by making the environment happier, more enjoyable and less frightening.    

We are also aware that not everyone enjoys the company of animals and there are health risks that could affect our patients, staff and visitors. We therefore ask animal owner’s to adhere to the following requirements.

If you have any questions please discuss with a member of staff. 

If you are planning a visit to St Michael’s with an animal, please: 

  • Agree a time and day with the nursing staff
  • Only allow the animal to approach or access private patient areas where the patient has given their prior consent
  • Ensure all people touching the animal wash their hands or use alcohol hand gel after contact
  • Ensure no patients are exposed if they have an allergy to animals

Owners must ensure that their animal is:

  • physically fit
  • kept on a lead throughout the visit and stays with the owner at all time
  • discouraged from jumping, scratching, licking or being excessively noisy
  • of an acceptable hygienic standard i.e. not wet, muddy etc
  • not allowed to sit on furniture
  • given regular breaks (for drinks, rest, toileting, etc)
  • cleared up after by the owner and ‘poo bags’ discarded in a clinical waste bin or taken home
  • not to enter any food preparation or eating areas at any time

Authorised PAT Dogs 
The Hospice does operate a PAT Dog service as part of a therapy programme. Details of the requisite checks and registration are listed in the Hospice Animal Policy.

This information does not apply to registered working animals such as Guide Dogs.