NOAH welcomes RCN protocol plan for animals in hospitals

NOAH welcomes the Royal College of Nursing’s plans for the creation of the first ever nationwide protocol for animals in health care, which aims to allow more hospitals and other care settings to be able to introduce animals as part of their patient care.

NOAH Chief Executive Dawn Howard says: “NOAH has actively promoted the benefits of healthy animals to people for many years, not only in hospital settings but also in care facilities for older people and in schools. We are delighted to see the inception of this new protocol, and hope that, when it is launched, it becomes widely adopted.

“As well as the health benefits, it has been estimated that pet ownership saves the NHS around £2.45bn/year and this move, by making it easier for hospitals and other facilities to be able to plan the introduction of animals, could potentially increase this figure even more.”

Notes for Editors

  1. The National Office of Animal Health represents the UK animal medicines industry. Its aim is to promote the benefits of safe, effective, quality medicines for the health and welfare of all animals.

  2. For more information contact Alison Glennon: 020 8367 3131. Email:

  3. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) nationwide protocol for animals in health care will provide evidence-based best practice criteria so that hospitals and other health settings can introduce animals into the care environment. The RCN will launch the protocol later this year.

  4. A recent RCN survey which found that although the majority of respondents thought animals were hugely beneficial to patients, most nurses said animals were not allowed in their workplace.[1] Widespread research has shown how animals can improve patient care.[2]



  5. Companion Animal Economics – the Economic Impact of Companion Animals in the UK published by CABI (2017) estimates pet ownership in the UK may reduce use of the NHS to the value of £2.45bn a year.