The NHS has set itself the challenge of getting a million patients up, dressed and walking by 26 June and the Isle of Wight’s St Mary’s Hospital is supporting the ‘End PJ Paralysis 70 Day Challenge’.

The health service says getting out of bed and dressed as early as possible helps boost recovery and those who stay in their pyjamas or gowns for longer than they need to can have a higher risk of infection, loss of mobility, fitness and strength which results in them staying in hospital longer.

The friends and relatives of Islanders in hospital are being asked to support the initiative by making sure loved ones have clean clothes and wash bags.

Ward Sisters with Natalie Mew, Matron (far left) and Dr Barbara Stuttle CBE, Director of Nursing & Quality (centre front) with their pledges

Over 70 days (which started on 17 April), ward staff are using an app to record how many patients they have managed to get up, dressed and moving.

On the Isle of Wight, Matron for Medicine Natalie Mew is leading the challenge:

“Over the next 70 days we will be working even harder at getting our patients out of bed, dressed and being more active, if they can. We know that by getting patients back to their normal routine as quickly as possible, including getting dressed in their everyday clothes, we can support a quicker recovery, help them maintain their independence and their dignity and help get them home sooner.

“But many patients that come into hospital do not have clean clothes or a wash bag with them and this is where we need support from relatives and friends to bring these items in. It really does make a huge difference to their recovery.”