Patients at the RUH in Bath are being encouraged to “get up, get dressed and get moving” as part of the national End PJ Paralysis campaign.
The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust is taking part in NHS England’s #EndPJparalysis 70 days challenge, which aims to rack up a million “patient days” by 26th June.
At the halfway mark, the hospital says it is delighted that more than 2,000 patients have been supported to get dressed and active. Staff on the hospital wards are using a smartphone app to record how many patients are dressed before midday.
The RUH started their #EndPJparalysis activity two months ago with a highly successful March on Frailty campaign.
Research has shown that encouraging and supporting patients to get dressed and get moving can reduce the risk of infection and reduce the loss of mobility, fitness and strength.
Dr Chris Dyer, Consultant Geriatrician at the RUH said: “Spending a few days in bed might seem like kindness, but actually it will quickly lead to a lot of muscle wasting.
“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.
“Just two days of bed rest reduces a patient’s muscle strength 2 – 5%, that loss of strength may make the difference between dependence and independence.
Dr Dyer continued: “Getting dressed each day motivates patients to get up and get moving, it’s in the interests of our patients to help them be as mobile as possible.
“If we can help patients get back to their normal routine as quickly as possible, including getting dressed, we can support a quicker recovery, help patients maintain their independence and help get them home sooner.”
Staff from across the organisation have been pledging how they will help to #EndPJparalysis by arranging activities on the wards, organising shared mealtimes and providing information about the campaign to patients and relatives.
Dr Dyer added: “It’s fantastic to have this concentrated focus but the support and encouragement we provide to patients to get dressed and move around will carry on throughout the year.
“We know these small changes will bring great physical and mental benefits and we want them to be part of the everyday practice at the Trust.”
The 70 days campaign started on 17th April and will run until 26th June to coincide with the 70th birthday celebration for the NHS.