Dr Pike puts patients at ease

One man and his dog: Richard Nicholl and Pike
One man and his dog: Richard Nicholl and Pike

‘Dr Pike’ is the latest in a long line of unusual employees at Northwick Park Hospital that have included a bird of prey, guard dog and robot.

Consultant Neonatal Paediatrician Richard Nicholl bought his ‘medical colleague’ along with him as part of a ‘Pets as Therapy’ session outside Haldane Ward.

Labradoodle Pike - named after Private Pike from the TV show Dad’s Army - has already paid previous visits to the hospital’s Regional Hyperacute Rehabilitation Unit and elderly care wards, where he has proved popular with patients.

Richard said: “The patients really like him and he is always very patient. He usually has an instant rapport with people.”

Extensive research has shown that the presence of a dog can have a positive impact on physiology and psychology and help reduce stress levels.

Nowadays, dogs support patients in hospitals as well as visit retirement and nursing homes, hospices, schools, colleges and universities, and even courtrooms.

Northwick Park employs the talents of Thor the Harrier Hawk to keep an eye on pigeons, while Hank, a German Shepherd, accompanied security in the late 1970s and Jeeves the Robot helped deliver medical files during the 1990s.

For more information, please contact Steve Watkins on 07951 922 536 or email steve.watkins1@nhs.net