NEIL Hamilton, AM for Mid & West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales, is backing a UK wide push to encourage patients to get up, dressed and keep moving.
The campaign, to encourage patients to change from their pyjamas and get moving around, is also being supported by the Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, Professor Jean White.
The #EndPJParalysis 70-day challenge aims to achieve one million patient days of relevant patients being dressed in day clothes and moving around, over a 70 day period.
The challenge, to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS, is being held in a number of health and care organisations across the UK and started on April 17 and runs until June 26.
Mr Hamilton said:
“It is a known fact that being mobile really does help people to keep fit and healthy and it is particularly important for patients to be encouraged to get out of bed and dressed.
“I was amazed to hear that research shows that with the elderly, 10 days in bed can mean they lose up to 10 years of muscle strength. That is incredible and very worrying.
“A ‘Get up and Go! Campaign’ was started at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, last year where they showed the benefits of being involved in such a scheme. Taking part could help patients with their mobility, lead to less time being spent in hospital, and is good for the wellbeing of the patients.
“I fully support the #EndPJParalysis 70-day challenge and urge my constituents to back the scheme and encourage patients to be more active.”
It has been found that 60% of immobile patients had no medical reason that required bed rest, and that 10 days of bed rest could lead to up to 10 years worth of muscle mass loss in patients over 80 years old.
During a visit to Morriston Hospital to see the scheme in action, Professor White said:
“Speaking to some of the patients here, I’ve been able to see the benefits that simply getting out of bed and getting dressed has to offer in terms of recovery.
“Patients, in general, prefer to be at home rather than in hospital, and research suggests that too much bed rest could do more harm than good. So by being active, patients keep up their strength and aid recovery so they can go home more quickly.
“It’s refreshing to have seen so many active patients moving around the ward today. This simple change can have a hugely positive effect on a patient both mentally and physically, and I encourage all health and care organisations in Wales to take part in the #EndPJparalysis campaign.”