Our staff are coming to work wearing their pyjamas on Friday 24th March as part of a national NHS campaign.
The ‘End PJ Paralysis’ initiative aims to show staff what it's like for when they have to wear pyjamas whilst in hospital, often feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable. The campaign also raises awareness of the health benefits of getting dressed, out of bed and being as active as possible whilst in hospital.
Bedbound patients lose 1 – 5% of their muscle strength every day they are in bed, they can also develop skin breakdown, pressure sores, confusion and fatigue. Many patients lose the ability to carry out routine daily functions like bathing, dressing, getting out of bed and walking, due to unnecessary bed rest.
For an older person, a loss of muscle strength can make the difference between dependence and independence. Every 10 days of bed-rest in hospital is the equivalent of 10 years of muscle ageing for elderly patients.
It has been proven that getting patients out of bed and mobile as soon as they are well enough can reduce the length of time they spend in hospital.
Our Elderly Care team at Royal Preston Hospital is trialling a “get up and go” diary, which is being used to highlight patients that are in a position to start trying to move from their beds, regain some independence and increase their daily activities.
Already our staff who are piloting the diary have noticed that more patients are progressing to the early mobilisation stage of their care, which has been proven to help them recover quicker and has lots of associated health benefits.
Malabika Ghosh, Clinical Lead for the Early Rehabilitation team, said: “It is a well-known fact that early mobilisation, and early engagement in function improves patient outcomes and improves overall mental, physical and psychological health, and so I think it’s really important that we encourage patients to get out of bed, to get dressed and move about.”
Our Medical Core Therapy team at Chorley Hospital have developed a colour coding initiative where they place red, amber or green stickers onto zimmer frames to indicate the level of mobility appropriate for each patient.
Peter McCann, our Consultant in Elderly Medicine, said: “The End PJ Paralysis campaign highlights the fact that most patients are at risk of de-conditioning. As soon as someone is ill, we put them into pyjamas and put them into bed; this is a kind and caring approach but all too often we do it for too long, which can actually end up causing problems, both mentally and physically. We are not so good at getting the patient back out of bed, getting them dressed into normal clothes and getting them moving. This campaign aims to encourage all of us to take a lead in ending PJ paralysis in a safe and timely manner- sit up, get dressed and walk.”
Suzanne Hargreaves, our Operations Director, said: “Our priority is to help our patients get well and back on their feet as soon as possible, and we are proud to be supporting this campaign. We recognise how important it is for patients to feel comfortable and dignified whilst they are in hospital with us, which is why we have a real focus on helping patients to get dressed and be independent. We know that patients in hospital often spend a lot of time wearing pyjamas and that can make them feel uncomfortable and vulnerable, so our staff are wearing their own pyjamas, to really understand how it feels. Getting a patient dressed and out of bed also helps their mental wellbeing, allows them to become active participants in their personal health journey and is proven to get them out of hospital sooner."