Frankie brings doggy cheer to hospital patients and staff

Volunteers come with four legs as well as two as Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.

They are all members of Pets As Therapy (PAT), a national charity that supports owners who want to share their pets with hospital patients and staff as well as schools, care homes and prisons.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals has eight pet regulars including Frankie, a 12-year-old Pomeranian Bichon. Her owner Margaret Ford has been visiting with Frankie for nearly six years and also volunteers with the Trust chaplaincy team.

This week Frankie and Margaret were joined on their travels around Blackpool Victoria Hospital by Chief Executive Trish Armstrong-Child to mark Volunteers’ Week.

Volunteer Manager Catherine Henshaw said: “The dogs are like celebrities when they come visiting! Everyone is cheered up by them especially patients who may be missing their pets while in hospital.”

Research has shown dogs like Frankie can also reduce stress levels and support wellbeing.

Both patients and staff can request a visit from the PAT dogs. Email Catherine at

Dogs needs to be assessed and registered with Pets As Therapy for them and their owners to become a volunteer.

… we have lots of other volunteer roles too!

Volunteers like Steve Dyson are part of hospital life at Blackpool, giving their time to help and support patients, visitors and staff in many ways.

The Trust has more than 450 active volunteers at Blackpool Victoria and Clifton hospitals, each giving at least three hours of their time a week.

Speak to our volunteer manager Catherine Henshaw to find out more.

These are our current vacancies.

Posted in Home Page, NHS75.