A loyal and much loved hearing dog and her owner have been honoured with a special award for helping and inspiring thousands of children with hearing difficulties at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Yorkhill.
Bran, a cross border collie terrier, and owner Lisa Davidson were today awarded with a prestigious NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Chairman’s Award for their excellence in the category of Clinical Practice.
As the ‘ears’ of deaf owner Lisa, a British Sign Language officer in the hospital’s audiology department, Bran has become firm favourite with young patients in audiology and indeed throughout the whole hospital and together they have given help, hope and inspiration to their young patients.
The award was presented to the duo by Cabinet Secretary for Health, Alex Neil at a special ceremony and coincides with Bran’s retiral.
Despite hanging up her collar for a well deserved retirement Bran’s legacy is one to be proud of. She has changed attitudes to deafness, acting as a four-legged advocate to the point that she and Lisa were regularly stopped and asked questions about what it means to be deaf.
Lisa said: “Wearing her distinctive uniform Bran has helped to break down barriers and raise awareness of deafness.
“Bran is calm and good with people and acts as a good icebreaker. She can be a catalyst to help children feel more relaxed when they come into audiology.
“In a department for young people who are hearing impaired it is motivating for patients and families to see a deaf person such as myself who is a member of staff.
“For some of the mums and dads seeing Bran makes them think about the future for their children and how a hearing dog can help make their child to be more independent.”
Bran and Lisa’s award nominator, Kim Davidson-Kelly, Clinical Lead for Hearing Impairment, said: “Families are fascinated to learn that Bran gives Lisa independence and allows her to live alone and have a fulltime job.
“I have been totally amazed by the change in attitude to deafness that a meeting with this dog has affected.”
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Chairman, Andrew Robertson, said: “Bran and Lisa are worthy winners. Together they have provided excellent care to their patients and crucially they have been able to put young people and their families at ease in circumstances that can be difficult. To inspire your patients and give them hope is one of the greatest gifts a healthcare worker can give and that is exactly what this very effective duo have achieved.”
For further information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected].scot.nhs.uk.
Pic: Left to right, Bran and Lisa Davidson