Health staff at Blackpool Victoria Hospital are urging patients to get up, get dressed and get moving to end ‘PJ paralysis’.

And they are appealing to relatives, friends and carers of patients to support them by bringing in a daily supply of fresh clothing to help people get out of bed.

Patients in hospital normally stay in their pyjamas or hospital gown until they are discharged. The goal of the #endPJparalysis initiative is to get patients up, dressed and moving which will help to reduce harm, enhance dignity and promote a speedier recovery.

Ten days in a hospital bed can age the musculoskeletal system of a frail patient by about 10 years. Bedrest can decrease muscle strength by two to five percent a day causing muscle shortening, changes in joint structure and marked loss of leg strength which will seriously limit mobility.

While patients of all ages can benefit from being more active, it’s particularly important for older people.

Staff at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals want to see more patients getting up and in their day clothes which is why they are appealing for the help of relatives, friends and carers to bring in day wear so patients can get out of bed.

Karen Smith, Clinical Improvement Lead Nurse, said: “There’s sometimes an assumption that when you’re in hospital you should be in your pyjamas or nightwear all the time, but that’s just not the case.

“Many of our patients do not want to spend any longer in hospital than is absolutely necessary so it is vital that our staff do everything they can to encourage and help patients get out of bed and get dressed.”

Caroline Costello, Enhanced recovery nurse added: “Obviously there are certain patients who are unable to get dressed during the day, patients undergoing a procedure, those with surgical wounds or those for whom getting dressed would be uncomfortable etc. however all patients who can get out of bed will be encouraged and helped to do so.

“Getting up, dressed and active helps promote independence, but we need the support of friends, relatives and carers to help us to help them,” Caroline added.

To find out more about the initiative, talk to members of the clinical improvement team who will be on the Mezzanine Floor in the Main Entrance of Blackpool Victoria Hospital on July 13th and 14th.