New campaign launched across health board to help keep patients active and independent
On the 17 April, Cardiff and Vale UHB launched this initiative in conjunction with the nationwide #EndPJparalysis challenge.
The nationwide 70 day, 1 million patient day #EndPJparalysis challenge runs from 17 April 2018 – 26 June 2018 as part of the NHS 70th birthday and complements their ‘Get up, Get dressed, Get moving’ campaign.
Once admitted to a hospital, many patients resign themselves to simply staying in bed, in their pyjamas, for the duration of their stay.
However, research shows that bed rest is not a good way to recover from many illnesses or injuries and may actually increase recovery times.
Staying in bed can and not moving can actually contribute to a number of other problems:
- It can affect breathing
- It causes skin to break down and become sore
- Muscles can lose strength, causing increased fatigue
- Patients lose independence in personal care like washing and dressing themselves
- Patients become unable to digest food properly causing gastrointestinal problems
- It can cause confusion and a loss of self-confidence, which could result in a low mood.
These risks are exacerbated in older patients as those over 80 lose up to 10% of their muscle mass in just 10 days. This equates to their muscles ageing by about 10 years.
Further, up to 50% of patients can become incontinent within 24 hours of admission and fewer than 50% of patients recover to preadmission levels within one year.
The average age of Cardiff and the Vale’s patients is 84. For this reason, the UHB is committed to encouraging and enabling staff to support patients in keeping as active as possible.
Although there can be risks with moving around, staying in bed is actually much more risky to health and wellbeing.
WHat Experts say
Ruth Walker, Executive Nurse Director, is thrilled at the UHB’s involvement in the #endPJparalysis challenge and excited for the potential benefits that patients will experience, saying: “We know that every little bit of activity achieved can have a hugely positive effect. Research suggests that as little as 19 minutes activity in hospital every day can improve mobility levels and shorten the length of the patient’s stay.
“I encourage staff to download the #EndPJParalysis app which is free during the 70-day challenge. There is a publically accessible dashboard www.endpjparalysis.com to show how we are doing during the challenge.”
Fiona Jenkins, Executive Director of Therapies and Healthcare Science added: “Making small changes, like sitting up in a chair for visits and meals or walking to the toilet rather than using a bedside commode can make all the difference.
“In addition, supporting patients to continue to wash and dress themselves while in hospital will better prepare them for their transition and return home by allowing them to maintain their independence.”
If you, or a loved one, are going into hospital make sure that you take day clothes (not just PJs), sturdy footwear (not just slippers) and anything else you may need to stay active such as walking aids, hearing aids, or glasses etc.
Together, we can improve our patients’ experience in hospital while simultaneously reducing their recovery times.
For more information please go to this website – http://www.cardiffandvaleuhb.wales.nhs.uk/get-up-get-dressed-get-moving