"Guide dog"

About: Antrim Area Hospital Causeway Hospital

(as the patient),

I have been in Antrim Area and Causeway Area hospitals at various different times this year and every time there have been staff members who don't seem to know how to behave around guide dogs, petting my GD without my consent when she is clearly in harness and working. Bad enough in normal times but to ignore social distancing in a pandemic is inexcusable. This distracts my dog which could have potentially dangerous implications for our safety, is distracting, annoying and disorientating for me. This happens pretty much everywhere we go, but NHS staff should know better.  

More about:


Response from Mark Cox, Assistant Clinical Services Manager, Causeway & Dermatology, Northern Health and Social Care Trust last week
Mark Cox
Assistant Clinical Services Manager, Causeway & Dermatology,
Northern Health and Social Care Trust
Submitted on 18/11/2020 at 22:08
Published on Care Opinion on 19/11/2020 at 09:41

Thank you for submitting this feedback. I would be keen to discuss with you how we could improve any future experience for yourself and other service users with guide dogs

My e mail address is mark.cox@northerntrust.hscni.net



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Response from Leigh Morgan, CO Facilitator, Patient Experience, NHSCT last week
We are preparing to make a change
Leigh Morgan
CO Facilitator, Patient Experience,
Submitted on 20/11/2020 at 16:55
Published on Care Opinion at 17:59

picture of Leigh Morgan

Dear CPY,

My name is Leigh and I am one of the Patient Experience Facilitators here in the Northern Trust. Thank you so much for taking the time to feedback to us on your experience whilst attending both Causeway and Antrim Hospitals with your Guide Dog.

I am sorry that you didn't have a more positive experience. The concerns you have raised have emphasised the need for further training and awareness on Guide Dog and Assistance Dog etiquette.

I have liaised with our Equality Unit and I have also linked in with Guide Dogs UK for information which can be shared with staff to help raise awareness of the etiquette which must be adhered to when a dog is in harness.

I will also bring this to the attention of senior managers to disseminate within wards and departments so that staff are able to reflect on how important social distancing is, and that they must adhere to current government guidelines and Infection, Prevention and Control procedures at all times.

I will write back again and give you an update on our progress with planning a change, so that we can hopefully improve the experience of future patients. This feedback has been very valuable, and I thank you again for taking the time to write it.

If you would like to talk further about this at any point, please contact me on Leigh.Morgan@northerntrust.hscni.net.

Many thanks again and Best Wishes,


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