Staff in pyjamas launch campaign

Pyjama Group

Pyjama Group

Flossie Nokes with Dina Beavis

Hospital Leaders

Captions:The first two photographs show some of the staff who wore pyjamas or hospital gowns to draw attention to the #EndPJparalysis campaign and to show their support for it.

The third photograph shows Mrs Flossie Nokes, aged 97, of Colchester, in her day clothes talking to Dina Beavis, Senior Physiotherapy Assistant, who is wearing pyjamas.

On the front row of the fourth photograph are (from left to right) Trust Managing Director Dr Barbara Buckley, Chief Executive Nick Hulme and Finance Director Dawn Scrafield.

27 September 2017

Staff at Colchester General Hospital wore their pyjamas to help launch an initiative to accelerate the recovery of patients in the hospital.

They were showing their support for a campaign that started in New Zealand and which is rapidly spreading throughout hospitals in the UK to encourage patients, where possible, to stop wearing their nightwear, such as pyjamas or hospital gowns, when they do not need to but to get out of bed and put on their normal daytime clothes.

Patients who are able to get up, get dressed and get moving are likely to recover more quickly than patients who remain in bed, and therefore leave the hospital sooner.

Jo Field, a specialist occupational therapist at Colchester General Hospital, said the campaign was universally known as #EndPJparalysis.

“Wearing nightwear or a hospital gown for many patients reinforces the ‘sick role’ and can slow down their recovery,” she said. “Getting up and maintaining a usual routine can help their recovery.

“We all know that if we feel ill and stay at home, it’s very easy to spend the day lolling around in our pyjamas, not doing very much.

“But the moment we make the effort to get up and put on our normal clothes and try to go back to normal, that’s the moment you often start to feel better.

“That’s the basic concept behind this campaign, which has attracted growing support, including from the Chief Nursing Officer for England.”

Staff at Colchester General Hospital, such as nursing staff, including Melissa Dowdeswell, Deputy Director of Nursing, and medical, therapy and administrative staff, wore pyjamas in order to promote the #EndPJparalysis campaign to colleagues and patients.

Miss Field stressed it was not appropriate for all hospital inpatients to get up and into their day clothes, such as patients who were too ill to sit in a chair.

But, for example, the type of patients who would benefit are people who normally live independently but whose ability to manage has been affected by illness which has resulted in a hospital admission.

She said that every patient, irrespective of their age, will lose muscle strength and decondition during their stay in hospital so it is in their interests for them to be mobile as soon as possible with the aim of regaining their previous abilities.

Enabling patients to be at their best level of function when they are discharged helps to prevent a readmission to hospital, she added.

For every 10 days of bed-rest in hospital, the equivalent of 10 years of muscle ageing occurs in people over 80-years old, and building this muscle strength back up takes twice as long as it does to deteriorate.

One week of bed rest equates to 10% loss in strength, and for an older person who is at threshold strength for climbing stairs at home, getting out of bed or even standing up from the toilet, a 10% loss of strength make the difference between dependence and independence.

Colleagues in the hospital’s Emergency Department are backing a similar campaign called #Fit2Sit which encourages frontline health professionals and paramedics to put an end to patients lying down on trolleys and stretchers if they are well enough to sit or stand.