Worthing Hospital has a new therapy dog

Worthing Hospital has a new therapy dog.

Miss May, a two-year-old Goldendoodle — who was registered as a Pets As Therapy dog last year — recently started as an official NHS volunteer for University Hospitals Sussex.

Her owner, Clive Leach, an organisational coach based in Findon Valley, said: “She loves people. She is friendly and calm.

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"Watching her build relationships with staff and patients is amazing.

Miss May's owner, Clive Leach is an organisational coach based in Findon Valley

"Trying to get her registered as a volunteer was quite a long process, and we couldn't get her on the wards during Covid, but we were finally able to start a couple of weeks ago.

“It's a bit of a distraction for people in hospital. Can help them laugh and get a sense of calmness and positivity.”

Sarah Kahn, voluntary services manager for Worthing & Southlands, said therapy dogs give patients ‘comfort and support’ at times ‘when things are really tough’.

She added: “We have numerous pet therapy dogs across the trust, on all our sites. Miss May is our latest addition.

Miss May, a two-year-old Goldendoodle — who was registered as a Pets As Therapy dog last year — recently started as an official NHS volunteer for University Hospitals Sussex.

"It’s wonderful. It absolutely benefits our patients and brings smiles to our staff.

"The impact on our staff is tremendously good, in terms of boosting their energy and mental health.

"As a trust, we really support our patients gaining the best experiences whilst they’re here. Certainly Miss May does that really well.”

Speaking during National Volunteers' Week, Ms Kahn said the therapy dogs ‘alleviates’ patients’ health conditions.

“It leaves a positive paw print in someone’s day,” she said. “That may support them to engage more in their therapies or their meals or encourage them to have a bit more life in their life at a dark time for them.

"Never underestimate the influence that most Clive and Miss May have on the ward, the patients, carers and the staff. They can change a day for a patient.”

To find out more about Miss May, visit her Instagram account: @may_redgoldengirl.