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Hospital discharge rate: ‘pyjama paralysis’ national campaign aims to boost patients’ recovery

Initiative to be unveiled nationwide at the chief nursing officer for England summit in Liverpool later this week and includes a 70-day challenge

Initiative to be unveiled nationwide at the chief nursing officer for England summit in Liverpool later this week and includes a 70-day challenge


The ‘pyjama paralysis’ initiative aims to help boost patients’ recovery and get them
discharged from hospital. Picture: iStock

England’s chief nurse is to launch a national campaign to get patients moving and end ‘pyjama paralysis’.

The initiative, billed by NHS England as the largest of its kind, aims to help boost patients’ recovery and get them discharged from hospital.

#EndPJParalysis drive

It follows a successful campaign – #EndPJParalysis – led by Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust deputy chief nurse Ann-Marie Riley, which spread on social media.

Chief nursing officer (CNO) for England, Jane Cummings, will unveil the nationwide campaign at the CNO summit in Liverpool later this week.

The campaign will include a 70-day challenge to give patients back one million days of their time lost in hospital. A website will show how each hospital, ward and participating country is doing during the challenge.

‘Speedy recovery’

Professor Cummings said: ‘For many wearing pyjamas reinforces feeling unwell and can prevent a speedy recovery. One of the most valuable resources is a patients’ time and getting people up and dressed is a vital step in ensuring that they do not spend any longer than is clinically necessary in hospital.

‘I urge all those caring for our older patients to help end PJ paralysis, get involved in the 70-day challenge and show the impact they can make.’

The #EndPJParalysis drive started following a 2016 talk about improving the lives of older people at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. The talk by NHS-trained nurse Brian Dolan, who is visiting professor of nursing at the Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research, inspired a discussion about patients wearing pyjamas.

Following a twitter chat after Mr Dolan’s talk, an #EndPJParalysis campaign began with posters displayed on the trust's wards to encourage patients and their families to bring in day clothes and comfortable shoes.

Gain back almost 92,000 days

A recent pilot of the approach across nine NHS trusts in the east of England saw patients gain back 91,728 days – or 250 years’ worth of time – as result of getting patients up and dressed, according to NHS England.

Professor Dolan added: ‘EndPJParalysis has galvanised nurses, therapists, doctors and managers in a way I’ve not witnessed in a 30-plus year career and so many are passionate about doing the right thing.

‘Patients wearing their own clothes in hospital further enhances their dignity, safety and retains their sense of identity and when something works well for patients it works for staff too. 

‘Precious time’

‘Encouraging patients to get dressed everyday rather than remaining in their pyjamas or hospital gown when they do not need to boosts recovery and makes the most of precious time so it can be better spent with loved ones.’

Commenting on launch of the campaign, RCN general secretary Janet Davies said ending 'PJ paralysis' was a step in the right direction.

'The evidence shows that getting patients up and dressed speeds up their recovery - enabling them to leave hospital at the earliest opportunity and preventing avoidable further deteriorating,' she said.

 Staff in healthcare organisations can download an EndPJParalysis app via the Apple Store or Google Play.

The campaign will run from 17 April to 26 June. 


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