Drive to end ‘pyjama paralysis’ in hospitals

A campaign to get people up, dressed and moving whilst in hospital has been launched by England’s top nurse.

The drive to end ‘pyjama paralysis’ aims to give patients back one million days of their precious time that would otherwise be wasted in bed.

Professor Jane Cummings, Chief Nursing Officer for England, launched the 70-day #EndPJparalysis challenge, which started on 17th April and ends on 26th June.

A recent pilot gave patients back 91,728 days – or 250 years –  worth of time across nine trusts in the East of England as result of getting patients up and dressed.

The #EndPJparalysis challenge aims to build on its success, with an ambition to have a million patient days captured in just 70 days.

Studies show that three-in-five immobile, older patients in hospital had no medical reason that required bed rest and doubling the amount of walking while in hospital reduces the length of stay.

Professor Cummings said: “For many, wearing pyjamas reinforces feeling unwell and can prevent a speedy recovery. One of the most valuable resources is a patients’ time and getting people up and dressed is a vital step in ensuring that they do not spend any longer than is clinically necessary in hospital.”

Professor Brian Dolan, Visiting Professor of Nursing, Oxford Institute of Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Research (OxINMAHR), Oxford, added: “Patients wearing their own clothes in hospital further enhances their dignity, safety and retains their sense of identity and when something works well for patients it works for staff too. Encouraging patients to get dressed everyday rather than remaining in their pyjamas or hospital gown when they do not need to boosts recovery and makes the most of precious time so it can be better spent with loved ones.

“End PJ paralysis has galvanised nurses, therapists, doctors and managers in a way I’ve not witnessed in a 30 plus year career, and so many are passionate about doing the right thing.

·         Follow the hashtag #EndPJparalysis on social media.

Last medically reviewed: April, 2018 • April, 2021