Hospitals back national campaign to get patients up, dressed and mobile to speed their recovery

Patients at five hospitals in Greater Manchester are being encouraged and supported to get out of bed, put on some clothes and become active in order to aid their recovery time following a stay in hospital.

Staff are encouraging patients, particularly those who are older, to take part in a new national 70 Days to End PJ Paralysis campaign at the hospitals run by The Northern Care Alliance, namely Salford Royal, The Royal Oldham, Fairfield General, Rochdale Infirmary and North Manchester General, in a drive to end what is known as ‘PJ Paralysis.’

Over the past six months staff across the Northern Care Alliance have been rolling out initiatives inspired by the End PJ Paralysis campaign, which has resulted in more patients being discharged sooner. We are playing our part in the 70 Days campaign by sharing data and feeding into a national system about what we have done during the 70 day period.

Popular up and down the country, and particularly prominent on social media, #endPJparalysis was set up by Prof Brian Dolan with the simple aim of getting patients out of bed, out of their pyjamas, and as active as possible to boost their recovery.

Spending just ten days in bed can result in a ten year aging process in muscles for elderly patients, which in turn can increase the risk of falls, harms (such as pressure ulcers, infections and blood clots), restrictions to everyday independent life and mobility. There is also a risk of incontinence with over-reliance on catheters or bedpans, instead of assisting or encouraging patients to toilet as normal.

Elaine Inglesby-Burke CBE, Chief Nursing Officer at The Northern Care Alliance said:

“This is one of the most important pieces of work for our organisation and I am proud that so many different teams across the Alliance have taken the social movement to heart. The enthusiasm of staff to improve patient experience has been infectious. When I visit our wards and areas I am constantly impressed with the creative ways in which staff are overcoming challenges to End PJ Paralysis and reduce the amount of precious time that patients spend in a healthcare setting.”

Norma Bagguley, 78, a patient on the Pendleton Suite at Salford Royal, said:

“I have been in hospital for nearly a week now and getting up and dressed really does give me a boost. It is still a bit difficult because I have a broken shoulder but once I am dressed and I am up walking, I feel like I can see the end in sight and I am over another hurdle.”

Thomas Gallagher, a patient on the Pendleton Suite at Salford Royal, said:

“Getting up and dressed is a real motivator; it gets me ready for the day ahead and is much better than staying in bed all day. It’s a sign that I have reached my first target and am one step closer to getting out of hospital and back home to normal activities.”

Philip Hargreaves, a patient on AMU at The Royal Oldham Hospital said:

“Having spent time in hospital I couldn’t wait to get back to normal. Laying on a bed all day and staring at four walls and a ceiling drives you crazy. The minute I could get out of bed, get dressed and go to the toilet and bathroom to have a wash and shower I felt on top of the world. The nurses and staff on AMU at The Royal Oldham Hospital did their upmost to help me get mobile again and encouraged me, even if I felt I could not do it.”

Getting our patients out of bed and participating in shared mealtimes is just one way we are participating in the 70 Days initiative. Other ways we are participating in the End PJ Paralysis campaign at our hospitals include:

  • Engaging activities – to encourage a friendly and stimulating environment for recovery inc afternoon tea, craft events, themed parties (Ward 21 Fairfield General Hospital)
  • What matters most to me today? A speech bubble is displayed above the patient’s bed saying what activity they would like to do that day, for example get out of bed and watch the match, or to recover and to be discharged home
  • Team engagement – involving full departments in the End PJ Paralysis campaign
  • At The Royal Oldham hospital on the AMU ward we have reduced reliance on commodes
  • At the Clinical Assessment Unit at Rochdale Infirmary we have introduced a new ‘hydration station’ – See case study below
  • At the Pendleton Suite at Salford Royal we have reduced the number of pressure ulcers
  • At North Manchester General Hospital on Ward I6 we have provided information to patients and relatives about the campaign, meal times and activities

As part of the national 70 Days campaign our hospital wards will be capturing data to answer two simple questions each day; How many patients are dressed in day clothes at midday and of these dressed patients, how many have mobilised e.g. walked to the toilet / shower or walked around the bed? This data will then be fed into the national 70 Days campaign, which aims to get 1 million patients up, mobile and dressed in 70 days.

The 70 Days campaign is running from 17 April until 26 June 2018 to coincide with the 70th birthday celebration for the NHS.

Case Study

The Clinical Assessment Unit at Rochdale Infirmary has introduced a new ‘hydration station’ which allows patients to access hot and cold drinks when they need them. This has also been trialled across other surgical wards at Salford Royal, J3 at North Manchester, and other areas across the Alliance. A nominated member of the ward team also visits the patients to ask if they would like refreshments, but encourages them to access the facility on their own, if they are able to walk. Areas have received positive feedback from patients, who appreciate the facility and being able to help themselves when they require a drink.


  1. Elaine Inglesby-Burke CBE, Chief Nursing Officer at The Northern Care Alliance

Other pictures available on request:

  1. Elaine Inglesby-Burke CBE with patient Norma Bagguley
  2. Health Care Assistant Lesley Noon with patient Philip Hargreaves


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