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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Staff help over 2,000 patients get on the road to quicker recovery with 70-day challenge

Staff help over 2,000 patients get on the road to quicker recovery with 70-day challenge

Posted on Thursday 19th July 2018

North Cumbria hospitals staff have helped thousands of patients get up, get dressed and get moving about as part of a 70-day challenge to ‘end PJ paralysis’. 

The annual #EndPJParalysis national NHS campaign aims to aid speedier recovery of patients, and North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust staff this year took part in a target-driven initiative as part of the campaign. 

Studies show that -

  • 10 days of bed rest in hospital can lead to the equivalent of 10 years ageing in the muscles of people over 80
  • Muscle strength can reduce by 2-5 percent in the first 24 hours and up to 10 percent in the first seven days.
  • As much as 60% of immobile older patients have no medical reason that requires complete bed rest 

It is also believed that a 50% increase in walking while in hospital can lead to a 6% shorter length of stay. 

NHS England set wards across the country the “70 day challenge” in order to get as many patients as possible up, dressed, and moving. Staff at north Cumbria’s two main hospitals, the Cumberland Infirmary (CIC)and West Cumberland Hospital (WCH), used a specially designed app to upload data each day about how many patients are dressed and how many patients are mobile. 

The 70-day challenge marks the NHS 70th birthday this year, and ran from 17 April for 70 days finishing on 25 June, the week before the NHS anniversary. 

NCUH has now reviewed the results and has found that:

  • 2,469 patients got out of bed and dressed in both CIC and WCH
  • Out of those, 2,394 patients moved around the ward during the 70-day challenge

NCUH also has awarded their wards for their efforts and improvements. The following wards were presented with certificates:

  • The Best Dressed Ward – the ward with the most patients up and dressed – Elm C, CIC
  • The Continued Participation Ward – the ward that continued to promote the initiative and submit data throughout the 70 day period even though number of patients up and dressed was limited due to surgical interventions, treatment and care – Aspen, CIC
  • The Fittest Ward – the ward with the most patients moving about each day – Elm C, CIC
  • The Most Innovative Ward – Maple C, CIC, for their Bananas in Pyjamas video
  • Best Engagement Wards – the ward which shows the most engagement and innovative ways of getting patients dressed and moving – Ward 4 at WCH and Willow B at CIC

Barbara Pinguey, specialist physiotherapist at NCUH, said: “Research consistently shows us that it’s in the interest of the patient to get out of bed, out of their pyjamas and moving about as much as they possibly can. The campaign this year has been extremely successful, and it’s great to know what a positive impact it has had on patients.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all the staff on all the wards who helped make this initiative happen. I know that a lot of work went into completing the challenge, and that staff understood the benefits of encouraging patients to get up and moving. I’d also like to thank the families of patients who supported us so well in achieving this by championing the campaign and also ensuring plenty of spare clothes were brought in for their loved ones.”