SAY hello to the John Radcliffe hospital's latest high-tech medical advance: Bree the Cockapoo.

Bree has been signed up to spread cheer through the JR and Oxfordshire's other hospitals.

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The four-legged friend is a ‘PAT dog’ (Pets as Therapy) and will soon be regularly visiting patients at Oxford University Hospitals trust.

She is part of a new project set up between national charity PAT and the hospital trust to support patients with neurological conditions.

Oxford Mail:

The trust said Bree’s main job was to help people smile when facing stressful experiences in hospital.

Research has shown PAT dogs can help improve people’s mood, physical function and ability to cope with stress.

Oxford University Hospitals neurological physiotherapist Natalie Thrale said: “We are thrilled to have Bree in our team.

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“We hope that as many patients as possible can meet our PAT dog.

“Patients benefit a lot from the human-animal bond, and the dog always brings a smile to their faces while they are going through a difficult time.

Oxford Mail:

“Bree's presence helps reduce anxiety and stress not only in patients, but also in our staff and visitors, who enjoy spending time with her.”

Before meeting Bree patients are screened by the infection control team to make sure both patient and dog will be safe, and all pet therapy sessions are held away from the wards.

Pets as Therapy CEO Deborah Dow said the charity was ‘delighted’ to be working with patients at OUH.