HELP your loved ones to get better sooner by making sure they have clothes to change into while they are in hospital – that’s the message from Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The Trust, which runs Andover War Memorial Hospital, Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and Royal Hampshire County Hospital, in Winchester, is taking part in a national challenge aimed at getting patients out of bed and dressed every day.
Donna Green, Hampshire Hospitals’ chief nurse, said: “People often think that staying in bed is the best thing for them when they are in hospital – but the opposite is actually true.
“It’s important that patients get dressed and out of bed every day once they are well enough to do so and it’s amazing the difference that just these simple actions can make. Patients who have been in bed for a couple of days often remark that they feel much better when they get up and dressed and it has been shown to help reduce the amount of time they spend in hospital.”
Inactivity is a particular problem for older patients, for whom it is said that 10 days in bed can result in 10 years’ worth of muscle ageing, making them more likely to suffer a fall when they do get up.
Hampshire Hospitals is taking part in the nationwide #EndPJParalysis Challenge, which will see hospital wards across the country report on the number of patients who are dressed and mobile by midday each day. The challenge begins on April 17 and will run for 70 days until 26 June to tie in with the 70th anniversary of the NHS.
The purpose of the challenge is to value patient time. In addition to boosting recovery, getting up and dressed every day helps patients leave hospital sooner, meaning they can spend more time with their loved ones. Nationally, the ambition is to capture a million patient days by the end of the challenge.
Donna added: “We’re really excited to be taking part in the #EndPJParalysis Challenge – but we need our patients and their friends and families to help us too.
“Visitors can help simply by making sure that their loved one has clothes and shoes to change into once they are well enough to get out of bed. Not only does this preserve their dignity and keep them safe, it also helps them to retain their sense of identity.
“We also want people to challenge us. If your loved one is still in bed with their pyjamas on when you come to visit, ask a member of staff why. Also, encourage your loved one to sit on their chair, rather than lay in bed, and walk to the toilet whenever possible.”
Visit www.endpjparalysis.com to find out more about the challenge and see how Hampshire Hospitals and other Trusts across the country are getting on.