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Ambulance Care Dog Team Up For HSJ Patient Safety Award

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust’s Ambulance Care Dog team have been shortlisted for a prestigious HSJ Patient Safety Award in the staff wellbeing category.

The Care Dog team, initially made up of 12 dogs, was set up in April 2023 to support Ambulance staff with managing workplace stress as they are regularly exposed to distressing situations due to the nature of their work.

Specialist Paramedic Sophie Brockman, who set up the initiative said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been shortlisted for this award.

"The Care Dog team have had such an impact on staff over the last year and make a real difference to our wellbeing in the workplace.

"The Care Dog team support all our Ambulance staff including our frontline crews and our call handlers by visiting them on their breaks or downtime during their shifts.

"Evidence shows that interacting with dogs can decrease levels of cortisol and systolic blood pressure which are indicators of heightened stress.

"Research also indicates that within five minutes of interaction with a dog, a person’s stress levels can reduce, making the use of care dogs a practical intervention for the workplace."

Director of Operations, Isle of Wight Ambulance Service, Victoria White said:

“Sophie and the team have worked incredibly hard to implement the Care Dog team.

"This is staff (and dogs) supporting each other. I am incredibly proud that we have been recognised for this fantastic initiative to support our staff and their wellbeing.”

The HSJ Patient Safety Awards ceremony take place on Monday 16 September in Manchester.

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