70 days to end pyjama paralysis

England’s top nurse will launch a drive to end ‘pyjama paralysis‘ on Wednesday (8 March) to give patients back one million days of their precious time that would otherwise be wasted in bed in a hospital or care home.

Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, will launch the largest ever national campaign to get patients up, dressed in their own clothes, and moving to boost their recovery at her 2018 Chief Nursing Officer summit.

The campaign aims to get older people back home to their loved ones living much happier and fuller lives. 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.

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 and get involved in the 70-day challenge and show the impact they can make.”

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. The Chief Nursing Officer will 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.

For many, wearing pyjamas reinforces being sick and can prevent recovery. Studies show that three-in-five immobile, older patients in hospital had no medical reason that required bed rest and doubling the amount of walking while in hospital reduces the length of stay.

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.

Ward H8 on Salford Royal’s Intestinal Failure Unit have been putting an end to PJ paralysis.

On why getting up out of bed and dressed matters, Jack Burns aged 69 a patient on the ward, said: “I’d encourage anyone to get up and about, not stay in pyjamas. I can get myself dressed, go for a walk, and even brew up here. It helps me feel right, it gets me ready for going home.”

Professor Brian Dolan, Visiting Professor of Nursing, Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Research (OxINMAHR), Oxford, said: “End PJ paralysis 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. 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.”