Current visiting times

After suspending visiting earlier in the year, we are now able to offer limited visiting to some wards at the discretion of the nurse in-charge.”

Read more on visiting times...


Messages for loved ones and keeping in touch

We recognise the impact that a long stay in hospital can have on families and the importance of maintaining strong communication.  Our ward staff are keeping in touch with patients’ next of kin directly and our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can help pass on personal messages from family and friends.

Read more information about messages for loved ones…

Current visiting times

After suspending visiting earlier in the year, we are now able to offer limited visiting to some wards at the discretion of the nurse in-charge.”

Read more on visiting times...


Messages for loved ones and keeping in touch

We recognise the impact that a long stay in hospital can have on families and the importance of maintaining strong communication.  Our ward staff are keeping in touch with patients’ next of kin directly and our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can help pass on personal messages from family and friends.

Read more information about messages for loved ones…

During your stay in hospital you will meet a number of different members of staff.  All members of staff wear name badges, but if you are not sure who someone is or what they do, please feel free to ask them to introduce themselves and explain what they do. 

If you have any questions about your treatment, please ask a doctor or a nurse.

There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved with the Trust, from volunteering to attending our public meetings, our Annual General Meeting or our hospital open day which is held every year.

News

Therapy dog kick starts stroke patient's recovery at QA Hospital

Date: 20 April 2022

Stroke patient, Irene, thanks therapy dog at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust (PHU) after he kick started her recovery.

After suffering from a stroke, Irene Hartley, 77, spent seven weeks on the acute stroke ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QA). The stroke affected both her speech and ability to walk and, while her speech improved over time, she’d shown no progress with walking.

Irene’s partner, David Stribling, mentioned Irene’s love of dogs to staff and her occupational therapist suggested a therapy dog might help her recovery. Despite Covid-19 restrictions limiting the number of therapy dogs able to come in, staff at QA managed to organise a visit from a colleague’s therapy dog, Whiskey.

David said: “As soon as Whiskey sat on Irene’s bed, her eyes lit up. He was as good as gold and Irene brightened after having him here- as did the other patients and staff around us. He was a natural mood booster for the entire ward.”

Whiskey, an eleven-year-old westie, returned two days later. His owner handed Irene the lead and Irene walked the length of the ward with Whiskey, the first time she’d walked in three weeks.

Irene was soon discharged, and David commented on the impact Whiskey had: “Whiskey gave her a purpose. He got her up and exercising. Her initial contact with Whiskey is what sparked her recovery.”

Irene expressed her thanks to the team and said: “I am very grateful for the care and attention I received from the staff at QA and Whiskey who helped so much in my recovery.”

The couple now take regular walks with a friend’s dog around Canoe Lake in Southsea. The exercise helps to maintain Irene’s fitness and support her walking.

Saz Manuel, senior occupational therapist at QA, said: “Everyone’s stroke recovery is different, so it’s essential for us to find out what is important to them. An animal could be the missing link in a stroke patient’s recovery. Whiskey was a key turning point in Irene’s journey and was pivotal in getting her home.”

Occupational therapists at PHU look at the wider factors that impact patients and look at the individual to tailor and offer effective care.

Saz noted: “We look at the individual patient’s needs and how best we can help them. Irene loved dogs so we arranged for Whiskey to visit her and be part of her rehab intervention. The simple activities of brushing a dog or walking them can increase motor function and have a huge impact on mood and motivation. The benefits are immeasurable.”

Whiskey’s owner, Lesley Bloomfield, works part-time at the hospital and started volunteering with Pets as Therapy in September 2020 to help patients and their families.

Lesley has found the experience to be extremely rewarding and said: “Having a therapy dog in hospital has a huge impact on wellbeing for patients, their families, and staff. Whiskey’s laid-back temperament helps to reduce stress and he has a calming effect on all those he meets.”

 

Whiskey has also visited QA to run staff sessions in the pathology department. Staff can drop in to see Whiskey during their break.

Alyssa Horne, medical lab assistant at QA, said: “It’s been really comforting to have a therapy dog at QA. I’ve been to see Whiskey a couple of times and he refreshes me before I go back to work. It’s been really busy, especially over the last year, and it’s great to be able to take a minute out and wind down by seeing Whiskey.”

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