The RCN have published guidance which is intended to support organisations who might want to consider working with dogs in a health care setting. See here.
I am slightly bias as I am a total animal lover but I think this is great. Any guidance, tools, protocols and research on the effectiveness of innovative ideas such as using animal therapy for patients are likely to encourage more organisations to think about taking the jump to implement a local policy and "give it a go".
The protocol covers some really useful, universal areas including the types of dogs that may visit health care settings, guidance for health care professionals and suggestions for how to manage some of the key areas of risks associated with introducing dogs to a healthcare setting. These include infection prevention, allergy management, therapy dogs / patients' pets, health and safety).
Perhaps your organisation wants to stay #onestepahead by introducing animal assisted therapy but not known where to start with the proposal? If so - this guidance could be a good place to start. I particularly like the list of useful contacts and service providers at Appendix 2.
"Ultimately, each organisation is responsible for developing their own policy but it is hoped this protocol will aid that process and lead to greater consistency of practice and build credibility for animal assisted intervention work. It will also increase the public’s understanding of the vital role that assistance dogs play."