Poole Hospital

Longfleet Rd, Poole, Dorset

Cuddly dogs gifted to shielding children

As part of home visits to shielding children during Covid-19, Poole Hospital’s children’s community nursing team (CCN) has been delivering ‘Darcy dogs’ to shielding children.

The CCN team reached out to Poole Hospital Charity to request £800 of funding from the Poole Hospital Heroes Covid-19 fund to purchase 100 of the cuddly dogs, craft and educational items.

The Covid-19 outbreak has brought many challenges to hospital. One of those challenges is seeing shielding patients who have been unable to attend appointments in the hospital.

The CCN team has visited an increased number of children at home who have complex needs and life limiting conditions.

Darcy dogs have been given out as a way of thanking children for allowing staff into their houses wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), which can sometimes be a daunting experience.

The cuddly dogs have been well received by families and children. Parents understand the difficulties at this time and for some, the CCN team is the only people they have let into their homes over the past few months.

“Parents have really appreciated the thought that we have given to shielding families,” mentioned Maxine Gerrett, community support nurse.

“One child was really over the moon with his Darcy dog which made his day!”

As each child has received their own Darcy dog there is no risk from infection control that would have been posed if nurses had used games and crafts like normal which help make a visit less scary.

Josie Roberts, clinical lead nurse for children’s community services and palliative care, said: “Giving our wonderful children and families a little gift to say thank you for their patience, and allowing us into their houses with PPE and following our guidance is amazing.”

“Seeing the smiles on children’s faces has been priceless. We cannot thank our children enough.”

The CCN team is still handing out the cuddly dogs to children who have had to shield and many families have suggested it would be a great idea to present each new referral with one.

Poole Hospital