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‘Pyjamas say you're poorly, clothes say you’re getting better’
01 August 2017

Staff at St. Mary’s Hospital are supporting the national ‘End PJ paralysis’ campaign which is raising awareness of the impact of patients staying in pyjamas or hospital gowns for longer than they need to and the benefits of getting dressed and being more active. 

Patients that stay in their pyjamas or gowns can have a higher risk of infection, loss of mobility, fitness and strength which results in them staying in hospital longer. Many patients lose the ability to carry out routine daily functions like bathing, dressing, getting out of bed and walking, due to unnecessary bed rest.

Natalie Mew, Matron for Medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital is getting behind the campaign and seeking support from families to bring clothes in for their relatives. Natalie Mew said: “We see PJ paralysis on a daily basis; patients that stay in their bed clothes and, as a result, feel more vulnerable, are less comfortable and move around much less than they would if they were dressed. It is quite shocking to hear that 10 days of bed-rest in hospital is the equivalent of 10 years of muscle ageing for elderly patients. But if we can help patients get back to their normal routine as quickly as possible, including getting dressed in their everyday clothes, we can support a quicker recovery, help patients maintain their independence and help get them home sooner.” 

Matrons and senior nursing staff came to work wearing their pyjamas today (Tuesday 1st August) and spoke to patients and staff about the campaign. Natalie Mew continued: “What was apparent this morning as we visited the wards was the number of patients who did not have any clothes with them to be able to get dressed. PJ paralysis is such a simple message and the benefits are huge for patients. Over the coming weeks we will be looking at ways we can support patients to get into a routine of getting up, getting dressed and being more active, if they can.” 

Sarah Johnson, Deputy Director of Nursing, said; “There is an assumption that patients need to stay in their pyjamas or hospital gown until they are discharged from hospital but that is not the case. Many of our patients do not want to spend any longer in hospital than is absolutely necessary so it is important that we end ‘PJ paralysis’ and encourage our patients to get up and dressed to maintain their independence and their dignity.”

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