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Campaign launched to end ‘pyjama paralysis’ in NHS hospitals

Initiative aims to get patients dressed to speed up recovery

Jo Carlowe

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

A major campaign has been launched today to end ‘pyjama paralysis’ in hospitals.

The drive aims to get patients out of bed, dressed in their own clothes and moving about in order to speed up their recovery. 

The initiative was first announced last month by Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) for England, Professor Jane Cummings, and has the support of the Royal College of Nursing.

It challenges all those who care for older people to get patients up and about for the next 70 days, to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the NHS.  

The CNO cited studies showing that three out of five older patients in hospital do not need to remain in bed all day, and that doubling the amount of walking while in hospital reduces patients’ length of stay.

A recent pilot gave patients back 91,728 days or 250 years’ worth of time across nine trusts in the East of England as a result of getting patients up and dressed. The #EndPJparalysis 70-day-challenge sets a bold ambition to have one million patient days captured in just 70 days.

Endorsing the new drive, Dawne Garrett, RCN Professional Lead for the Care of Older People, said: “We all know from our own experience that staying in bed in pyjamas can make us feel weak and vulnerable when often we’re on the mend and could be up and about, so the RCN is very pleased to back this initiative.  

“There’s good evidence showing that moving about more reduces the amount of time older patients spend in hospital. It’s also important for patients’ dignity to spend as much time as possible in their own clothes.

“Many patients will need help from nursing staff to get dressed, but rather than being seen as an extra task, this can be used as an opportunity for further assessment of their condition. Ensuring that patients do not spend any longer than is clinically necessary in hospital helps both patients and staff”.

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