Cockerpoo's visit makes Rita Fletcher a Star Award winner

All bow-wow down to Ward 19's healthcare assistant Rita Fletcher who reunited a patient and his pooch and has scooped our latest Star Award.

Rita tracked down Rufus the cockerpoo, collected him from the centre where he was being looked after in Meltham and reunited him with his owner - and the tears flowed.

Our patient had been admitted as an emergency and his beloved, little dog had had to go into emergency kennels. Our patient continued to fret about his pet and wasn't recovering very well so that's when Rita went into action.

She started by calling all the rescue centres without any luck then liaised with social services  and finally found the much-loved pet. She drove an hour on her day off  to Meltham to collect him, brought him to HRI and took him home again.

Ward manager, Mandy Naylor, said: "The dog was so excited. He was giddy as anything at being reunited. That's Rita though. She is very very caring. She puts people before herself."

Mandy also revealed Rita is " too valuable to lose" from the Ward 19 team and revealed Rita is about to start a new role as a nutritional assistant on the ward and keeps her part of the team.

Colleague Nigel Lockwood submitted the winning Star Award nomination for Rita who has worked at the Trust for five years. He described her as: caring, compassionate, understanding.

He added: "Rita is always looking for ways to help patients and make their hospital stay as comfortable and pleasant as possible. Our patient had no relatives, just his dog.  He had become extremely agitated and upset because he has been unable to see his dog."

Rita, said: " I did it on my day off so I wasn't working and it was no problem at all. It took me quite a while to find Rufus but I would have done it for anybody. I don't think I did anything special. As we left, the dog was crying, the patient was crying and we all filled up too. It was very emotional. When the dog saw him he was so excited you could see the bond between them."

She praised her manager and team spirit on Ward 19.  Colleagues came in on their day off - hence the children on the photo -  for the presentation and Rita said Mandy's door is always open and never shut." And Mandy replied: "This is all about you, not me."

 ** That's coincidentally two dog-related awards and Comms would like to thank all on Ward 19 for creating the surprise. Rita  had been asked to report to Mary "for feedback" to ensure she was on the ward for the surprise presentation.  We couldn't do the Star Award without your nominations and all your help in fixing Owen's visits so a big thanks.

Click here to make a nomination.