The Trust is always keen to find people who are interested in volunteering to work with our PALS Team in making sure that our patients feel supported and well looked after while they are under our care. Oliver is a special volunteer who does just that.
Oliver is a 7 year old liver spotted Dalmatian who works for “Pets as Therapy” charity, which enables him to visit hospitals, schools, and rest homes, but he had to pass a half hour assessment on Southsea Common first to make sure that he was suitable and placid enough to be around people while being fussed over.
Once he had passed his assessment with flying colours, we were delighted that his owner, Ivor, asked if he could start bringing Oliver into Queen Alexandra Hospital as a therapy pet and he’s now a regular member of the PALS Team.
When he comes into the hospital, Oliver always has to come to the PALS area first, just to say a quick hello, and to check what’s in the bins of course!
Oliver visits wards G1, G2, G3 and G4 most frequently and sometimes will visit patients on the Stroke Wards. Although most patients are very pleased to see Oliver, not everyone is keen to spend time with him, but Ivor says that Oliver is really clever dog and he he seems to be able to sense which patients he should approach and who would like to be left in peace.
After his ward rounds, which he does twice a week, Oliver is ready for his walk and dinner, but only after coming to see his friends again at the PALS area for some love and attention after a hard afternoon.