A True Partnership: Jackie and canine partner Kingston feature on NHS England

Posted 1 year ago in the Our partnerships category

Discover how canine partner Kingston supports Jackie and how he has saved the NHS money.

Jackie and canine partner assistance dog Kingston

We are thrilled that Jackie Kennedy and canine partner Kingston have been featured on the NHS England website and clinical commissioning group (CCG) bulletin, sharing how Kingston has transformed her life for the better.

Kingston, a black Labrador, has been partnered with Jackie since 2015 and knows close to 200 commands. This enables him to carry out fundamental tasks to support Jackie who has Cauda Equina, spinal stenosis, diabetes and a brain injury.

Some of these tasks include picking up dropped items, opening doors and fetching the phone or a blanket. He also helps Jackie when the pair are out and about, by taking items off of shelves and handing her debit card to the cashier.

By helping Jackie manage her physical disabilities, Kingston has helped saved the NHS over 60 ambulance trips in 2017 alone. In addition to this, Jackie no longer requires physiotherapy and visits her GP far less than she did before Kingston bound into her life. Supported by her personal health budget from the NHS, Jackie is able to care for Kingston’s needs for £3,000 per year.

Although initially trained to carry out physical task work, Kingston has learned to detect epileptic seizures 45 minutes before they happen, and he can also predict her hypo and hyperglycaemic attacks. Kingston can then use the skills taught by Canine Partners to bring Jackie’s hypo-kit to her, sound an alarm when needed and open the door to paramedics.

Most importantly though, Kingston has provided Jackie with a new lease of life. Her family no longer have to worry about her, and she can manage her health more effectively. Having an assistance dog instead of a carer has also allowed Jackie to live a much more independent life:

“I wasn’t looking to the future – with Kingston I’ve got a future, and that future is full of life and adventure”.

With her new found zest for life, Jackie is actively involved with her local clinical commissioning group (CCG) called Realising Change. This peer group work together to look at ways of supporting people with disabilities in their health and wellbeing.

Read more about Jackie and Kingston’s story on the NHS England website.

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