Hillingdon Hospital staff, including senior managers, have been donning their nightwear this week to draw attention to the issue of “pyjama paralysis” in older patients.
The week-long focus forms part of the largest ever national NHS campaign to get older patients up, dressed in their own clothes, and moving to boost their recovery.
“Staff wearing pyjamas is a very visually grabbing way to show just how serious an issue this is”
The 70 Day #EndPJparalysis Challenge aims to save one million hospital days for patients aged over 70 days, getting them back home earlier to spend precious time with loved ones.
As previously reported, the aim is to highlight to both staff and patients how important it is to get patients up and about, and dressed in their normal clothes.
The initiative is backed by evidence to show that patients can lose muscle mass and their mobility the longer they spend dressed in bed-wear or hospital gowns.
Hillingdon’s team were joined throughout the week by the #EndPJparalysis initiative’s creator Professor Brian Dolan, from the Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Research.
Professor Dolan led a series of activities and workshops at the trust to promote staff understanding of the condition and encourage patients to get dressed and moving.
He said: “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.
“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,” he said.
Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s executive team also took part and visited wards dressed in pyjamas on Tuesday 12 June.
Jacqueline Walker, the trust’s director of patient experience and nursing, said: “Staff wearing pyjamas is a very visually grabbing way to show just how serious an issue this is.
“We owe it to our patients to do everything we can to help speed up their recovery and get them home safely,” she said.
The 70 Day #EndPJparalysis Challenge campaign kicked off on 17 April and runs until 26 June to finish in time for the NHS 70th anniversary celebrations on 5 July.