Healthcare staff on Musgrove Park Hospital’s short stay reablement unit have swapped their uniforms for pyjamas.
It’s all part of the hospital’s ‘end PJ paralysis day’ taking place today (Thursday 20 April) to highlight the benefits of patients getting dressed as soon as possible when they are in hospital.
Research shows that patients who stay in their pyjamas or gowns longer than they need are likely to lose mobility, fitness and muscle strength, making it harder for them to regain independence. They also tend to stay in hospital longer.
On Musgrove’s short stay reablement unit, or Exmoor ward as it is more commonly known, clinicians are supporting patients to get back to their normal routine as quickly as possible.
They are encouraging patients to get out of bed and get dressed to greatly improve their chance of a quicker recovery.
Exmoor ward is led by a team of therapists and nurses who have developed a programme of activities to help patients gain strength and independence before they are discharged from hospital.
Nine in ten patients who stay on the unit return to their usual place of residence. And, almost half of patients who had previously needed social care four times a day prior to admission to Exmoor ward have gone home to live fully independently following therapy, with no onward care required.
Halley Kimber, sister on Exmoor ward, said: “We know that patients recover more quickly in hospital if they get up and about so we wanted to do something a bit different to encourage them to do so and to raise awareness throughout our hospital.
“Our ‘end PJ paralysis’ initiative also aims to show staff what it's like when they have to wear pyjamas whilst in hospital, often feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable.
“We know that patients stuck in bed can lose up to five per cent of their muscle strength every day and can also develop skin breakdown, pressure sores, confusion and fatigue.
“Many patients also lose the ability to carry out routine daily functions like bathing, dressing, getting out of bed and walking, due to unnecessary bed rest.”