The furry seal ‘PARO’, studied at the University of Brighton, has already shown to bring comfort and to enhance the wellbeing of people with dementia but there were concerns about meeting the infection prevention control requirements. PARO, whilst therapeutic, offers a challenge as it can be viewed as a hard-to-clean device.
Hygiene and cleaning tests were carried out over nine months by Dr Kathy Martyn, Principal Lecturer in the university’s School of Health Sciences, on a 10-bed dementia ward run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
The results, just published, show that PARO was maintained within acceptable limits for NHS Infection Control.
Lead researcher Dr Penny Dodds, who recently moved from the university to the charity Dementia UK, said: “To our knowledge, this was the first testing of the infection prevention and control aspects in the world and we are delighted with the results.