A NEW campaign has launched across the Cardiff and Vale UHB with the aim of helping to keep patients active and independent.

The Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Moving initiative has been launched in conjunction with the nationwide #EndPJparalysis challenge.

The nationwide #EndPJparalysis challenge runs until June 26 as part of the NHS’s 70th birthday celebrations.

Once admitted to hospital, many patients resign themselves to simply staying in bed, in their pyjamas, for the duration of their stay.

Research shows bed rest is not a good way to recover from many illnesses or injuries.

Staying in bed and not moving can affect breathing; cause skin to break down and become sore; and cause muscles to lose strength, causing increased fatigue.

Patients lose independence in personal care like washing and dressing themselves; and become unable to digest food properly causing gastrointestinal problems.

It can cause confusion and a loss of self-confidence, which could result in a low mood.

Risks are worse in older patients as those over 80 lose up to 10 per cent of their muscle mass in just 10 days – equating to muscles ageing by about 10 years.

The average age of patients in Cardiff and the Vale is 84.

Executive nurse director, Ruth Walker said: “We know that every little bit of activity achieved can have a hugely positive effect.

“Research suggests that as little as 19 minutes activity in hospital every day can improve mobility levels and shorten the length of the patient’s stay.

“I encourage staff to download the #EndPJParalysis app which is free during the 70-day challenge.

There is a publicly accessible dashboard www.endpjparalysis.com to show how we are doing during the challenge.”

Executive director of therapies and healthcare science, Fiona Jenkins added: “Making small changes, like sitting up in a chair for visits and meals or walking to the toilet rather than using a bedside commode can make all the difference.

“In addition, supporting patients to continue to wash and dress themselves while in hospital will better prepare them for their transition and return home by allowing them to maintain their independence.”

If you, or a loved one, are going into hospital make sure that you take day clothes (not just PJs), sturdy footwear (not just slippers) and anything else you may need to stay active such as walking aids, hearing aids, or glasses.

“Together, we can improve our patients’ experience in hospital while simultaneously reducing their recovery times.”

For information on the EndPJparalysis campaign you can visit www.cardiffandvaleuhb.wales.nhs.uk/get-up-get-dressed-get-moving