#KeepOnMoving launched in conjunction with Fab Change Week

#KeepOnMoving, a campaign to prevent deconditioning in hospital patients, was officially launched last week in conjunction with Fab Change Week 2017.

Launch of the #KeepOnMoving campaign According to academics*, deconditioning is a term used to describe a substantial loss of muscle and physical strength, as well as functional ability, which is caused by prolonged bed rest in older people. This lack of activity can lead to reduced mobility, falls, functional incontinence and low self-esteem, as well as longer term functional and psychological dependence.

The #KeepOnMoving campaign intends to educate both staff and patients about the importance of sitting up, getting dressed and continuing to move about whilst in hospital.

“We are doing this to promote independence for our patients, in order to help them to recover quicker”, explains Sam Rafferty, Head of Nursing for Winter and Operations at Derriford Hospital. “The evidence shows that patients who are in hospital only move about ten percent of what they would do if they were at home. A loss of muscle tone and wastage has a direct impact on whether they are able to go home.”

On Monday morning, nursing staff took part in trolley dashes and wore restricted vision glasses to emphasise how disorientating and confusing it can be for patients being wheeled around the hospital in beds, and how wheelchairs might prove to be a better solution, if patients are ‘fit to sit’. Matron Nicky Metcalfe and Greg Dix, Chief Nurse and Operating Officer, gave some feedback on how the experience felt.

“It was a really interesting thing to do to really put yourself where the patients are, and to experience how, when you’re on a trolley, you actually feel really vulnerable”, said Greg.

“I felt like there wasn’t a lot of room and that people were staring at me”, adds Nicky. “I’d much prefer to be in a wheelchair if I could”.

The #KeepOnMoving teamOur Chairman, Richard Crompton, enjoys the new Emergency Department chairs

New adjustable chairs have been put to use in the Emergency Department for the first time too, which staff hope to encourage patients to use as an alternative to getting straight into a bed, again to prevent deconditioning.

This week various wards are also encouraging patients to eat their lunch sitting around a dining table, to walk to collect their own meals from the food trolley, to get up and dressed before midday, and to change their own pillowcases. Patients are also taking part in exercise such as by playing Wii Fit games and having bespoke exercise classes with physiotherapists. In particular, renal dialysis patients are being encouraged to use a specially designed exercise bike, that has also been launched this week, during their treatment.

“The engagement throughout the hospital has been fantastic so far”, explains Sam. “In fact, as a senior nursing team, we are already seeing the benefits to our patients. It’s been so successful that we are going to continue to promote #KeepOnMoving by wearing the t-shirts once a week over the next year, to make sure that the philosophy is really embedded across the Trust.”

To keep posted on activities, keep a lookout for the #KeepOnMoving and #fit2sit hashtags on social media.