Therapists have launched a new initiative across Salisbury District Hospital to get patients up and about and out of their gowns and pyjamas as part of the national #Endpjparalysis campaign.
Patients who wear day clothes each day are more likely to maintain their independence, feel better in themselves and recover faster. This is an important initiative which will help support patient care within the hospital and better prepare patients for discharge back home or to a community setting.
Chloe Harris, who is a physiotherapist at Salisbury District Hospital, said: “It’s very easy to think of patients as people who are ill and so traditionally are cared for in bed. Although there are times when patients need to be in bed, across the country it’s become clear that there are both psychological and physical benefits in getting people dressed in their day clothes wherever possible. This is because staying in bed can re-enforce a ‘sick role’ feeling, where people focus on being unwell, rather than the positive of getting better. By making this small change, we are able to personalise our care to individuals and maintain their pre-hospital identity and function.”
#Endpjparalysis started as a pilot project on medical wards in February with 80% of patients up and dressed during the week that the project ran. This was further developed during a second pilot in the summer on a further four general wards. Across the two pilots, many patients were able to go home earlier and also felt more confident to do so, giving them greater involvement in their overall care.
Patients also found it easier to socialise and interact with each other, with some wards trialling lunch clubs, which reduced the risk of loneliness and isolation which can have a negative impact on older people. Patients often felt more positive about their condition and the reason why they were in hospital and this also passed on to patient’s relatives, reducing the worry that can come from a hospital stay and creating a strong collaboration between patients, relatives and staff.
Ms Harris said: “Over the two pilots, the impact was very positive, patients were more independent on the ward, therefore returning home sooner. The aim now is to engage with all staff groups across the hospital so we use every opportunity that we can to get patients up and about. We also want to engage with our partners in the local community so that where it’s possible, people can prepare to be up, dressed and moving when they are in hospital.”
Ms Harris added: “It’s common for patients to pack their pyjamas when they come into hospital, but it is vitally important to our patient’s care that relatives and patients are also encouraged to bring in day clothes. Day clothes and the use of a patient’s own walking aid are as important to the rehabilitation process as our own medical and therapeutic interventions.”