Stroke ward staff helping to end ‘PJ Paralysis’ by getting their patients up and moving page thumbnail

Nursing and therapy staff on the Stroke ward at Burslem’s Haywood Hospital have been encouraging their patients to get up, dressed and moving in their own clothes as part of a challenge taking place across the NHS.

Staff on the Sneyd Ward at the Haywood, which provides specialist and coordinated rehabilitation to adults following a Stroke, are supporting the 70-day End PJ Paralysis challenge which aims to see one million patients up, dressed and moving in their own clothes rather than hospital gowns or pyjamas.

Having patients in their day clothes while in hospital, rather than in pyjamas or gowns, enhances dignity, independence and experience as well as, in many instances, shortening their length of stay.

Research suggests that for patients over the age of 80, a week in bed can lead to 10 years of muscle ageing, 1.5 kg of muscle loss, and may lead to increased dependency and demotivation. Getting up and moving has been shown to reduce falls, improve patient experience and reduce length of stay by up to 1.5 days.

Laura Baggaley, Advanced Occupational Therapist at Haywood Hospital, run by Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust, explained what the team on Sneyd Ward have been doing to support the campaign and what benefits they have seen so far.

She said: “The End PJ Paralysis challenge has been really successful so far on the ward and we are delighted to be taking part – we have even done a spot of role reversal to encourage patients to get up and dressed by donning pyjamas and gowns ourselves.

“There is a real ethos of working together for the benefit of patients on the ward from day one of admission. The therapy team work with nursing colleagues to incorporate such things as bed exercises, mobility, personal care and cognitive aspects of recovery into the functional task of getting up and getting ready for the day.

“During the challenge, the team are asked to answer two questions each day – how many patients are dressed in day clothes at noon and of these patients, how many have been up and moving and are doing things like going to the toilet/shower or have walked around the bed?

“The data is then uploaded onto the website, which shows the combined total towards the one million patient day goal. We are also collecting feedback from the patients, which we are presenting on a display in our dayroom. Patients have reported physical and psychological benefits of being dressed and moving about which is fantastic to hear.”

The End PJ Paralysis challenge continues until Tuesday 26 June, in time for the 70th anniversary celebrations of the NHS on July 5.