Thursday, May 19, 2022
NewsAnimal NewsAN NHS board has revealed their adorable new "wellness hound"

AN NHS board has revealed their adorable new “wellness hound”

AN NHS board has revealed their adorable new “wellness hound” – and he even comes with his own personalised “good boy” ID card.

Chewie started his first day in the emergency department at the University Hospital Lewisham in London on Tuesday and has become an instant hit among staff.

Adorable images show the new recruit proudly sitting on an office chair, looking delighted on his first day at work.

Lapping up all the attention, the brown and white therapy dog dressed up for the role and was photographed sporting a red neck scarf and high vis jacket.

The department even gave Chewie his own NHS staff ID card which includes a passport sized snap of him.

His I.D reads: “Chewie Advanced Canine Practitioner.

“Wellness dog and very good boy. Emergency Department.”

Like all of his colleagues NHS passes, it includes the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust stamp.

It also asks anyone who finds the clip on ID pass to return it back to the hospital.

Chewie, a Nova Scotia duck tolling retrieve, has a background in working in local schools.

He will be visiting University Hospital Lewisham (UHL) on a regular basis to give staff the chance to unwind with the lovable pooch.

Anna Colclough, a consultant in Emergency Medicine at the University Hospital Lewisham shared photographs of Chewie’s first day on Twitter.

She wrote: “Lewisham emergency department wellness hound Chewie spreading a little joy today for staff #wellness #emergencymedicine

The consultant added: “Chewie has had some formal work experience as a school dog and residential dog training and is a therapy dog in training which has made him the ideal candidate.”

A photograph of Chewie’s pass was also re-shared by Twitter user Rich Breeze – attracting over 3,000 likes.

Many users gushed over the cute new canine NHS worker.

@QualityLindsey said: “ This is so wonderful”

@Rthompson66 said: “See there is precedent. Departmental wellness dogs are a thing. I’m putting together a business case.” 

While paramedic Bob Fellows said: “Is he new on the HEE directory? And does he have a PAWtfolio?” 

The UHL champions the health and wellbeing benefits that come from petting animals.

A 2019 study by Washington State University found that even just ten minutes of stroking a dog can reduce levels of cortisol – a major stress hormone.

Speaking today, Anna Colclough, Emergency Medicine Consultant, said: “Chewie has significant experience befitting such a good goy, and is looking forward to expanding his role to the healthcare environment.

“We’re so pleased to be able to support our colleagues’ mental wellbeing with initiatives like this, and both Chewie and I hope he can provide some joy and comfort during this challenging time.”

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