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London is going all out to support the 70-day end PJ paralysis challenge

20th April 2018

If you were in your last 1,000 days, how many of these would you want to spend in a healthcare setting?

This is the basis for the largest ever national healthcare campaign, launched by Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England and Regional Director for NHS England – London, to get people up, dressed in their own clothes, and moving to boost their recovery.

The 70-day End PJ Paralysis Challenge aims to end ‘pyjama paralysis’ by helping people to not spend any longer than is clinically necessary in hospital.  Focusing on the importance of patients’ time, health and care professionals across London have swapped their uniforms for pyjamas to encourage patients out of bed and into their own clothes.

Patient time is significant as figures have shown nearly half of people aged over 85 die within one year of a hospital admission.  Research shows that spending just ten days in bed can result in a ten-year ageing process in muscles for elderly patients, which can in turn increase the risk of falls, harms (such as pressure ulcers, infections and blood clots), restrictions to everyday independent life and mobility.  There is also a risk of incontinence with over-reliance on catheters or bedpans.

There are also other advantages for patients to get up and get dressed. It enhances dignity, helps people to maintain their sense of identity, boosts mental health and wellbeing, and encourages independence.

On the national campaign, 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.”

The campaign was launched on the back of a successful pilot which gave patients back 91,728 days or 250 years’ worth of time across nine trusts in the East of England simply as result of getting patients up and dressed. The ambition of the national campaign is to build on this success and have a million patient days captured in just 70 days.  A unique End PJ Paralysis app is being used to capture how each participating hospital, ward and care home is doing during the challenge to meet the ambitious target.

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

Follow #endPJparalysis and #endpjparalysis70 via Twitter to see how health and care colleagues are engaging with the challenge.  Full details about the 70-day End PJ Paralysis Challenge can be found online at: www.endpjparalysis.com.

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