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England’s CNO to announce national drive to ‘end PJ paralysis’

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Chief nursing officer for England Professor Jane Cummings will launch a drive to end “pyjama paralysis” later this this week at her annual summit of nurse leaders.

On Wednesday, she will launch the largest ever national campaign to get patients up, dressed in their own clothes, and moving to boost their recovery.

“I urge all those caring for our older patients to help end PJ Paralysis and get involved in the 70-day challenge”

Jane Cummings

At her 2018 CNO summit in Liverpool, she will launch the EndPJparalysis challenge to give patients back one million days of their time that would otherwise be wasted in a hospital or care home bed.

The idea was originally started in 2016 by Professor Brian Dolan and encourages patients to get up, dressed and moving while in hospital, as previously reported by Nursing Times.

It is intended to help prevent the complications of being immobile, including chest infections and muscle degeneration – as well as shifting patient’s perceptions from “I’m sick’ to ‘I’m getting better”.

Those behind it have quoted studies suggesting three-in-five immobile, older hospital patients have no medical reason requiring bed rest and that doubling their walking levels cuts the length of stay.

The concept has been gathering support over recent years, with trusts around the country adopting the approach and the CNO herself highlighting it this time last year at her 2017 summit.

A recent pilot gave patients back 91,728 days or 250 years’ worth of time across nine trusts in the East of England, as result of getting patients up and dressed.

“Patients wearing their own clothes in hospital further enhances their dignity, safety and retains their sense of identity”

Brian Dolan

The CNO will now build seek to build on its success by rolling out a national “70-day challenge”, with an ambition to have a million patient days captured in just 70 days.

She is urging all those who care for older people, nationwide, to encourage them to get up and active, especially if they are in hospital.

The campaign will run from 17 April to 26 June 2018 to finish in time for the NHS 70th anniversary celebrations on 5 July.

The EndPJparalysis challenge is supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement working directly with trusts and staff to support and encourage adoption of the campaign.

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Jane Cummings

Staff in healthcare organisations can download the EndPJparalysis application, or app, at the Apple Store or Google Play.

NHS England is also encouraging as many NHS and other healthcare staff to download the app as possible in order to have “widespread coverage in every ward, every day”.

In addition, the campaign’s website will show how each hospital, ward and participating country is doing during the challenge.

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,” she said.

“I urge all those caring for our older patients to help end PJ Paralysis and get involved in the 70-day challenge and show the impact they can make,” the CNO said.

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Brian Dolan

Professor Brian Dolan, visiting professor of nursing at the Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research, said: “End PJ paralysis has galvanised nurses, therapists, doctors and managers in a way I’ve not witnessed in a 30 plus year career.

“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,” he said.

He added: “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.”

Nurse leaders will gather in Liverpool this month for the annual chief nursing officer’s summit. Visit on 7-8 March for all the latest news from the event and follow us on Twitter @NursingTimes for live coverage.

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