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"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.

Responses

Response from Mark Cox, Assistant Clinical Services Manager, Causeway & Dermatology, Northern Health and Social Care Trust 3 months ago
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

Thanks

Mark

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Response from Leigh Morgan, CO Facilitator, Patient Experience, NHSCT 3 months ago
We are preparing to make a change
Leigh Morgan
CO Facilitator, Patient Experience,
NHSCT
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,

Leigh

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Response from Leigh Morgan, CO Facilitator, Patient Experience, NHSCT 2 months ago
Leigh Morgan
CO Facilitator, Patient Experience,
NHSCT
Submitted on 18/12/2020 at 12:12
Published on Care Opinion at 12:12


picture of Leigh Morgan

Dear CPY,

Thank you so much for contacting me personally. It is so important for us as staff to learn and improve by listening to the experiences our patients have when using our services. Your feedback is leading to a positive change which will improve awareness about Guide Dog Etiquette amongst staff.

As you know, our Equality Team are currently reviewing the Assistance Dogs Policy and they are going to produce an online resource for staff which I'm very glad to hear you will have the opportunity to review before it is finalised.

I also hope that you are able to participate in the Trust's Disability Consultation Panel in the future. Your input will be most welcome.

Thank you again for taking the time to feed back to us about your experience. We will keep you updated with the progress of this.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Leigh

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Response from Leigh Morgan, CO Facilitator, Patient Experience, NHSCT last week
We have made a change
Leigh Morgan
CO Facilitator, Patient Experience,
NHSCT
Submitted on 18/02/2021 at 15:26
Published on Care Opinion at 16:25


picture of Leigh Morgan

Dear CPY,

Just an update following our last communication. The poster you helped co produce is now with the printers.

I would also like to inform you that this has been shared regionally with the other Trusts across Northern Ireland. They too will be able to use this to improve awareness amongst staff about Assistance Dog Etiquette.

I would like to thank you for your input in the recent blog post. This has also been added to the Care Opinion News Letter and has been shared with Trusts right across the rest of the UK.

This has been such a valuable story which will most certainly improve the experience of other patients accessing services in the future.

It has been great working with you. I hope you are able to be involved in the Trust's Disability Consultation Panel moving forward.

Best Wishes and thanks again,

Leigh

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