Staff on 10 North ward at the Royal Free Hospital are launching the national #endPJparalysis initiative on their ward today by swapping their uniforms for pyjamas.

A team of therapists, nurses and healthcare assistants will also attend board rounds and bed meetings throughout the week to promote the initiative, hold training sessions for ward staff on how to help patients to get up and mobilise and encourage staff to ask themselves: ‘Why is my patient in bed?’.

The #endPJparalysis campaign, which highlights the impact of patients being left in pyjamas or hospital gowns for any longer than necessary, started on Twitter and has spread across the UK. While patients of all ages can benefit from being more active, it’s particularly important for older people. Recent studies have shown that 10 days in bed can lead to 10 years of muscle ageing in people over 80 years old.

The #endPJparalysis team on 10N are using quality improvement (QI) methods to plan, do, study and act on what is currently happening, with the specific aim of increasing the number of patients that are out of bed at lunchtime and in their own clothes by October 2017.

Rosie Skrypak, clinical lead occupational therapist who is the leading the initiative on 10 North, said: “It used to be the case that when patients arrived in hospital, they would stay in their pyjamas or hospital gown until they were discharged. Our #endPJparalysis initiative aims to get patients up, dressed and moving so they can recover quicker, get home and get back to doing the things they love.

“The hope is to bring about sustained improvement for patients to ultimately change the culture on the ward. It should not be the norm for patients to be in bed in pyjamas but to be up and active in their recovery."

Since March, the team have been collecting baseline data daily on how many patients are in bed with bed rails up, how many patients are in hospital clothing, length of stay and incidences of falls and pressure ulcers. Simultaneously, they have developed a range of educational tools and a therapy led training programme for staff which will be launched this week.

“We want to equip all staff on 10 North with the training and confidence they need to help engage patients in activities to help their recovery” said Rosie.

You can follow the campaign in action this week on Twitter and Facebook.