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Health and Safety Update: Assistance Dogs in CHP Buildings

CHP have been asked if we allow assistance dogs within our buildings and what they should do regarding other tenants and visits within their premises.

CHP do allow Assistance Dogs within our buildings. However, these dogs must have the proper accreditation and signage, for example, a tag or coat. Assistance Dogs are specially trained dogs working with an individual person to support them with an accessible issue. Their owner may have hearing difficulties, epilepsy, diabetes, physical mobility problems or other issues.

Guidance is available to read and help you understand a little better as to why these dogs are so important to those who need them and why they are allowed.

Some tenants have highlighted that they might want to have a pop-up stand when an Assistance Dog visits to inform people of the great job they do and raise not just awareness but funds for charity.

Other tenants may have a staff member who has an Assistance Dog and wants to bring them in to work to help assist them. Particular care should be taken to reduce any risk of harm to the dog and its owner/handler, residents, patients and visitors, as well as staff.

To ensure this, the following should be observed at all times for all dogs:

  • the dog should be on a lead and under control at all times
  • the dog should be wearing an ID tag, a recognised jacket, or other identification, to show that it is working as an assistance dog
  • people other than those the dog is visiting must be actively discouraged from talking to the dog without the express permission of the owner/handler. The owner/handler and staff must be able to stop any interaction immediately if they think there are any risks to anyone, including the dog.
  • time spent in the health care setting and the number of people the dog interacts with should be limited, in line with the tenant’s operational guidelines.
  • consideration should also be given to cultural and religious beliefs and people who are frightened of dogs or do not wish to interact with a dog. These situations must be ascertained before a dog is permitted to visit an area and any unplanned interactions prevented
  • Some Assistance Dogs do not wear harnesses or jackets, but most owners will have an ID book about the Assistance Dog, the training organisation and other useful information.
  • They will not wander freely around the premises.
  • They will sit or lie quietly on the floor next to their owner.
  • They are unlikely to foul in a public place.
  • Assistance Dogs are not pets they are an auxiliary aid.

 

Guidance is available in these documents as well:

 

If you have any other questions that cannot be answered in the attached guidance documents, please feel free to ask your ORM and they will try and advise you.

However, the Assistance Dogs UK website and the Royal College of Nursing has some useful information for you to use which should answer any questions you may have. 

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