End PJ Paralysis campaign at the Countess
Nurses and therapists at the Countess are backing a national campaign to ‘End PJ Paralysis’, encouraging patients in hospital to get dressed and start moving whenever possible.
The initiative has been created to change the culture of patients automatically spending long periods in their hospital beds in pyjamas when there is no medical reason to.
Director of Nursing and Quality Alison Kelly said: “When people come to hospital they can naturally slip into ‘patient mode’ and even those who are mobile can end up staying in their beds. We want to help people get back to normality as soon as possible by getting up, dressed and experiencing the confidence boost that comes along with that.”
Why is this an issue?
- Seven days of bed rest results in 10% of muscle loss
- A 50% increase in walking while in hospital is associated with a 6% shorter length of stay
- Patients who stay in bed are at higher risk of pressure sores
With the NHS celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, this summer there is a national drive urging nursing and therapy staff from across the NHS to log how many patients are up, dressed and active on any given day.
Although the official campaign is running through until 26 June, there are plans for staff at the Countess to adopt these principles indefinitely and they confirmed this by dressing up in their pyjamas in the main corridor, with posters demonstrating why it is important for staff, patients and visitors to discourage people from staying in bed unless they have to.
“We’re stood here in the middle of a corridor wearing pyjamas because we want people to walk past and stare at us,” Stephen Worrall, Quality Improvement Lead for the Falls Prevention Programme, said. “Wearing pyjamas all the time isn’t normal outside of hospital and it shouldn’t be inside hospital either. When people are able to get up and get dressed they should always do so in the exact same way they would at home.”
A Chester grandfather who recently spent time in hospital after a fall perfectly summed up the spirit behind End PJ Paralysis by making sure he got dressed every day.
Colin Massey, who was recently discharged in time to celebrate his 80th birthday, said: “It’s as refreshing to get up and get out of your pyjamas as it is to get up and have a wash. It freshens you up and makes you feel better.”
As part of the campaign patients and their families are being asked to bring in clothes to the hospital as an alternative to hospital gowns or pyjamas.
Occupational Therapist Lucy Ogden said: “The lift Colin feels from getting dressed is exactly why it is so important to support the End PJ Paralysis campaign. Getting patients to wear their own clothes and mobilise as soon as it is safe to do so makes it easier for us to assess how their recovery is going. These might seem like simple tasks, but starting to do these basic daily routines again can be a significant step towards being able to go home from hospital sooner.”
Teams from across the hospital have also given their opinion on why the campaign is so important:
- Dementia nurses said: “Encouraging getting up and getting dressed maintains routine and promotes healthy sleep patterns. People can then differentiate between day and night.”
- Tissue viability nurses said: “Regular movement and physical activity, when possible, will significantly aid in the healing of pre-existing pressure sores or help in the prevention of developing them.”
- Respiratory nurses said: “Patients who remain in bed can become chesty and have an increased risk of infection.”
- Ward 51 staff said: “Frequent movement reduces the risk of pressure area development.”