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Nurse-led campaign to put an end to ‘pyjama paralysis’ kicks off

The 70-day challenge aims to get older patients up and about in an effort to speed up their recovery

The 70-day challenge aims to get older patients up and about in an effort to speed up their recovery


Picture: iStock

Ending ‘pyjama paralysis’ is the aim of a campaign being launched across England today.

The campaign, which was started by a nurse on social media, aims to get patients out of bed, dressed in their own clothes and moving about to speed up their recovery.

Announced by NHS chief nursing officer (CNO) Jane Cummings last month, the campaign challenges those caring for older patients to get them up and about for the next 70 days, to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS.

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

Up and dressed

Professor Cummings said focusing on caring for older people was critical.

‘Making the most of valuable patient time is particularly important – as figures show nearly half of people aged over 85 die within one year of a hospital admission,’ she said.

Ensuring patients do not spend longer than is clinically necessary in hospital helps patients and staff

Jane Cummings

She said continually wearing pyjamas reinforced patients’ sense of being unwell and could hinder their recovery.

‘One of the most valuable resources is 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,’ she said.

70-day challenge

Professor Cummings said a pilot of the ending pyjama paralysis campaign had given patients the equivalent of 91,728 days back in terms of recovery time across nine trusts in the East of England.

With the full campaign now underway until 5 July, the EndPJparalysis 70-day challenge sets the goal of capturing one million patient days.

RCN professional lead for the care of older people Dawne Garrett said helping patients recover as fast as possible benefited everyone.

‘Many patients will need help from nursing staff to get dressed, but rather than being seen as an extra task, this can be used as an opportunity for further assessment of their condition,’ she said.  

‘Ensuring that patients do not spend any longer than is clinically necessary in hospital helps both patients and staff.’

Patients’ dignity

Ms Garrett said getting patients out of pyjamas and being more active helped return a sense of normality.

‘There’s good evidence showing that moving about more reduces the amount of time older patients spend in hospital,’ she said. ‘It’s also important for patients’ dignity to spend as much time as possible in their own clothes.’

Already the campaign has more than 500 patients dressed and mobile according to www.endpjparalysis.com.

People can join the campaign by downloading the #EndPJparalysis app via the App Store or Google Play.


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