A UK-wide campaign to encourage patients to change from their pyjamas and get moving around is being supported by the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, Professor Jean White.
The #EndPJParalysis 70-day challenge aims to achieve one million patient days of relevant patients being dressed in day clothes and moving around, over a 70 day period. The challenge will run from 17 April until 26 June 2018 in a number of health and care organisations across the UK to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS.
It has been found that 60% of immobile patients had no medical reason that required bed rest, and that 10 days of bed rest could lead to up to 10 years worth of muscle mass loss in patients over 80 years old.
Morriston Hospital in Swansea launched its Get up and Go! campaign last year to help patients and their families understand why staff were encouraging patients to get out of bed and dressed while still on the ward.
Participating in such a scheme leads to benefits such as:
- A reduction in the length of stay
- Reduced loss of mobility, deconditioning and risk of falls
- Reduced food wastage due to greater patient mobility and energy need
- Reduced risk of needing institutional care on discharge
- Enhanced wellbeing of patients and staff.
During a visit to Morriston Hospital to see the scheme in action today, Professor White (pictured) said:“Speaking to some of the patients here, I’ve been able to see the benefits that simply getting out of bed and getting dressed has to offer in terms of recovery.
“Patients, in general, prefer to be at home rather than in hospital, and research suggests that too much bed rest could do more harm than good. So by being active, patients keep up their strength and aid recovery so they can go home more quickly.
“It’s refreshing to have seen so many active patients moving around the ward today. This simple change can have a hugely positive effect on a patient both mentally and physically, and I encourage all health and care organisations in Wales to take part in the #EndPJparalysis campaign.”
Physiotherapist Sharon Maggs said: “There is research which tells that with the elderly, 10 days in bed can mean they lose up to 10 years of muscle strength. That’s astonishing.
“We know that being in bed really isn’t always the best thing for patients. We want to get the message out to patients, relatives and visitors when they come into hospital not to be surprised when myself, or my colleagues, encourage patients to get up, get washed and get dressed.
“We want them to be themselves, be normal. That’s the best rehabilitation.”
Occupational Therapist Sarah Morse added: “What we want people to do when they come into hospital is get up, choose what you want for breakfast, put your own clothes on, walk to the bathroom and have a wash.
“These are day to day things that you would normally do at home. This will keep you well, keep you strong and keep you active.”