Dexter the ‘well-being dog’ raises spirits amongst hospital staff

CREDIT: Twitter

Dexter the ‘well-being dog’ raises spirits amongst hospital staff.

THE Labrador and his handler PC Mike Sheather have been visiting London hospitals to support staff and promote healthy well-being, giving them a forum where they can talk openly about any topic they feel is important.

Dexter is the Met’s first well-being dog, and this week made his way to University Hospital Lewisham (UHL) to lend a paw and bring some joy to staff during their downtime.

At the start of this year and with a ‘major incident’ declared in London, it became apparent that healthcare professionals on the frontline of the pandemic needed support as well.

And PC Sheather jumped at the chance to support such colleagues outside of the Met and so far has visited Homerton Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, and now UHL, with Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich to follow.

The visits take place in an admin blocks away from wards and clinical areas, to give staff an opportunity to take a step back from their busy shifts and receive some comfort from Dexter, said the Met.

And on the most recent trip, Dexter and PC Sheather weren’t the only guests, as the Taskforce’s Mounted Branch also made a visit outside the hospital where staff were able to greet both horses and officers.

“I think people underestimate the comfort that our four-legged friends can provide and Dexter is proving an extremely invaluable presence to those who may be in need of that comfort,” said PC Shearer.

“Having helped so many people in the Met, we decided to take Dexter further afield. It’s been a tough year for all of those working in emergency services and NHS staff have been putting their health and well-being before others throughout.

“This is a very simple way we can give back to the brilliant staff at UHL and all the other hospitals. Hopefully all those who meet Dexter will have had a smile on their face and some time to decompress if they are having a stressful day,” he added.

Meera Nair, Chief People Officer at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust said the visit meant a lot.

We have been very focused on making sure there is a wide range of staff support in place since the start of the pandemic and these well-being visits are great for giving our hard-working staff a chance to relax and reset.”


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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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