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Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Moving

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Friday 31 May 2019

Patients at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital are this week being invited to take part in a campaign that encourages them to Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Moving.

Its aim is to speed up patients' recovery and reduce the length of time a person needs to spend in hospital.

Gary Whitwam, Lead Nurse for Medicine at the PEH, who is leading the campaign, said:

"We know that unnecessarily prolonged stays in hospital are bad for patients due to factors such as sleep deprivation, increased risk of falls and fracture, prolonging episodes of acute confusion and catching healthcare-associated infections.

These can cause an avoidable loss of muscle strength leading to greater physical dependency, which is commonly referred to as deconditioning."

Getting up and keeping moving is particularly important for people over 80, who can expect to lose 10% of their muscle mass for every 10 days they spend in hospital - the equivalent of 10 years of ageing.

He added:

"While we know that patients of all ages benefit from being more active, it is particularly important for older people. We want to raise awareness of the benefits of getting up, getting dressed and moving during a stay in hospital. We know patients who do change into their day clothes and take some gentle exercise as soon as they feel able to will feel so much better both mentally and physically.

Keeping active helps patients to fight infections and improve their appetite, sleep and mood. It may also decrease the risk of pressure injuries, muscle weakness and fatigue, dizziness, risk of falls and pain. We know it is important for patients to be able to return to their normal routine, enabling them to return home."

Dr Carol Makin from the Medical Specialist Group, who is also involved, said:

"There is an assumption that when you are in hospital you should be in your pyjamas or nightwear. For many this reinforces feeling unwell - the 'sick role'. And, despite being advised to take things easy out of compassion and kindness, prolonged bed rest whilst in hospital can lead to unintentional harm and hinder a speedy recovery."

The Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Moving initiative is part of a wider programme of activity that aims to continually progress patients' treatment. This involves a team of allied health professionals, from nurses to occupational therapists, physiotherapists and support staff.

The campaign will launch on Tuesday 4th June, and on that day there will be a display at the Emma Ferbrache room of all the materials involved in the campaign that promote independence and a return to daily activities.

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