Here at Kingston Hospital, it was first initiated on Derwent Ward in 2017, expanded to all care of the elderly wards and the acute assessment unit in July 2020, and across all inpatient wards in May 2021.Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT), a national programme designed to improve and benchmark medical care within the NHS by reducing unwarranted variations, reports that hospital-acquired deconditioning occurs among a third of all elderly patients and results in serious harm. This harm can cause an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Frail elderly patients can lose 2% of their strength daily due to bed rest and 10 days bed rest can result in 10 years ageing in terms of muscle loss.

Sitting medically-fit patients out of bed every day not only prevents deconditioning but also results in better functional outcomes, improved quality of life, reduced incidents of falls and pressure ulcers, reduced risk of becoming incontinent, reduced risk of hospital acquired infections and a reduction in nursing home placements. Most importantly, it ensures patients get home sooner, living their best lives.

GIRFT has identified that one of the reasons patients are not able to sit out of bed is due to a lack of appropriate chairs. With our support, Kingston Hospital has been able to purchase 40 specialist recliner chairs which means that over 90% of patients are now sitting out of bed every day on our care of the elderly, surgical and medical wards. To help ensure we achieve nearer 100%, a further ten chairs are being purchased with charitable monies for the acute assessment unit, medical wards and clinical decisions unit.

Physiotherapist Juliet Butler explained: “Professor Brian Dolan, the creator of End PJ Paralysis has described Kingston Hospital’s efforts as ‘inspirational’ and GIRFT has described it as ‘excellent practice.’ Kingston Hospital Charity has been crucial to the success of this initiative and to the quality of care afforded to our patients by providing the riser recliners, as well as communication support in the form of posters, banners and End PJ Paralysis lanyards. We are very grateful to all who continue to support our charity.