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Nurses urged to join chief nursing officer’s national challenge to ‘end PJ paralysis’

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A major national campaign has begun today to get NHS staff to encourage patients to change from their pyjamas into clothes and get up and moving around.

The chief nursing office for England, Professor Jane Cummings, has called on all health and care organisations in the country to take part in the campaign to end so-called “pyjama paralysis”.

“I encourage everyone caring for our older patients to help #EndPJparalysis and get involved in the campaign”

Jane Cummings

The #EndPJparalysis challenge aims to achieve one million patient days of relevant patients being dressed in day clothes and moving around over a 70-day period.

The campaign is set to run from 17 April to 26 June, in order to finish in time for the NHS 70th anniversary celebrations on 5 July.

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

As previously reported by Nursing Times, the national initiative was formally launched on 7 March 2018 by CNO Professor Jane Cummings at her annual summit.

Those behind the campaign cite evidence that 60% of immobile patients have no clinical reason that requires bed rest, and that 10 days of bed rest could lead to up to 10 years’ worth of muscle mass loss in patients over 80 years old.

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”.

In a blog published by NHS England on Monday, Professor Cummings called on nurses to take part in the #EndPJparalysis70 day challenge.

She highlighted that it would be the “largest ever national campaign to get patients up, dressed in their own clothes, and moving to help boost their recovery”.

“Wearing pyjamas for many reinforces the unwell feeling and can prevent a speedy recovery,” she said. “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.

“I am delighted to see the enthusiasm and engagement with the campaign so far”

Jane Cummings

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

“Tomorrow is the first day of our national challenge and I am delighted to see the enthusiasm and engagement with the campaign so far,” said Professor Cummings.

She said: “It’s easy to get involved and contribute to this important campaign. Download the information pack and resources.

“I encourage everyone caring for our older patients to help #EndPJparalysis and get involved in the campaign to show the impact we can all individually and collectively make,” she added.

Last week, chief nursing Officer for Wales Professor Jean White called on nurses in her country to support the new national drive.

Royal College of Nursing said its members would be taking part in the drive, with its leaders endorsing the initiative.

“We all know from our own experience that staying in bed in pyjamas can make us feel weak”

Dawne Garrett

Dawne Garrett, RCN professional lead for the care of older people, said: “We all know from our own experience that staying in bed in pyjamas can make us feel weak and vulnerable when often we’re on the mend and could be up and about, so the RCN is very pleased to back this initiative.

“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.

“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.

She added: “Ensuring that patients do not spend any longer than is clinically necessary in hospital helps both patients and staff.”

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Readers' comments (3)

  • Whilst wholeheartedly agreeing with the aims of #endPJParalysis, having a lot of people "up and about" and not contained in beds (which is generally "tidier" and "easier to manage" will require enough staff in the clinical areas to ensure they can walk safely to bathrooms or toilet/transfer safely to commodes.
    Is the initiative adequately resourced?

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  • Well said. Of course it isn't adequately resourcesed . The likes of Cummings and Garratt should know that . They spend too much time hosting meetings such as this rather than spending time on the ward where they would find out what nursing today is really like.

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  • "resourced"

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