Dog in waiting room

BVA welcomes first ever protocol for animals in health care

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has issued a warm welcome to the launch of the first ever nationwide protocol for animals in health care.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has launched the protocol, ‘Working with dogs in health care settings’, in a bid to encourage more hospitals to explore animal therapy.

A recent RCN survey found that nine out of ten (90%) nurses believe 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.

Simon Doherty, BVA Junior Vice President, said: “This new protocol highlights the importance of the bond between humans and animals. It also serves as a welcome reminder at the start of Mental Health Awareness Week of how caring for and interacting with ‘man’s best friend’ can help to relieve stress and enhance wellbeing and a sense of companionship.

“It’s positive that the working group consulted with a wide range of organisations on welfare and safety considerations in developing this protocol, as ensuring the wellbeing of both humans and animals in these settings is paramount. As a fellow member of the UK One Health Coordination Group, BVA is very pleased to see a joined-up and forward-thinking approach to this important area of work.”

The ‘UK One Health Coordination Group’ (UKOHCG) was established following the launch of the BVA/RCVS Vet Futures Action plan. The UKOHCG exists to improve liaison and collaboration between the UK veterinary, medical and environmental professions towards One Health aims in order to foster and facilitate the approach whereby professionals “think globally and act locally”. The founding members of the UKOHCG are: the British Veterinary Association (BVA), the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), the Veterinary Public Health Association (VPHA), the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), the National Health Service (NHS), the British Medical Association (BMA), the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), the National Trust, and the Wildlife Trusts.


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