End Game hears many reports of hairy beasts roaming the corridors of Richmond House but rarely are they serving any purpose which could be deemed therapeutic for anyone apart from perhaps themselves.
So it was heartwarming to hear that the department’s policy teams were visited by three flat coated retriever dogs (a bit like a Labrador but with bigger ears) to demonstrate how people’s health and wellbeing in hospitals and care homes could be improved by there being pets around.
The four-legged bundles of healing, provided by charity Pets as Therapy, are all trained and are accustomed to entering NHS and social care settings.
The charity’s website says that sick patients often feel isolated, in that even the most withdrawn seem to open up and let the barriers down when their regular visiting dog is around. Unless they’re allergic, presumably.
End Game hopes the DH mandarins found the visit beneficial. We are, however, unable to confirm reports that the dogs ate the Care.data programme after mistaking it for their breakfast.