To coincide with the NHS's 70th birthday this year, St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is taking part in a national challenge for staff and families to end 'PJ paralysis' by encouraging more patients to get up, dressed and moving.
NHS England has set wards across the country a "70 day challenge" and from today staff at Whiston and St Helens Hospitals will be recording how many patients are dressed each day and how many patients are mobile. NHS England is aiming to capture 1 million patient days nationwide in just 70 days.
The STHK campaign runs from 18th June to 27th August taking in the NHS 70th anniversary celebrations on 5 July.
The Trust is using this opportunity to remind the families of patients to bring in fresh clothes wherever possible to make it as easy as possible for staff to help get patients get dressed.
Studies show that -
- 10 days of bed rest in hospital can lead to the equivalent of 10 years ageing in the muscles of people over 80
- Muscle strength can reduce by 2-5 percent in the first 24 hours and up to 10 percent in the first seven days.
- As much as 60% of immobile older patients have no medical reason that requires complete bed rest
It is also believed that a 50% increase in walking while in hospital can lead to a 6% shorter length of stay.
Dr Mike Horner, Consultant Physician in Elderly Medicine, said: "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. Getting a patient dressed and out of bed helps their physical and mental wellbeing, allows them to become active participants in their recovery from illness and is proven to avoid decline associated with hospital stay."
Sue Redfern, Director of Nursing, said, "We have a great track record of getting patients up and dressed in our hospitals. The campaign is a fantastic way of reminding staff, patients and their families of the benefits of getting dressed and moving and what we can all do to help. Support from families is hugely important and we are asking families to ensure they provide plenty of clothing and well-fitting footwear to help us get their loved one up and moving."
Further information is available from www.endpjparalysis.com