Do your bit to fight healthcare issues facing elderly patients

Relatives are urged to do their bit to support staff at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital fight a major healthcare issue facing elderly patients.

Long periods of lying in a bed can have a devastating impact on older patients, resulting in a loss of confidence and ability to do everyday tasks along with increasing the risk of falls.

Deconditioning Syndrome is often caused by inactivity and can result in falls, incontinence and psychological dependence.

Recent studies have also shown that 10 days in bed can lead to 10 years of ageing in the muscles of people over the age of 80. Once lost, it can take longer to regain that strength and mobility.

Nursing staff are already doing their bit to tackle Deconditioning Syndrome but relatives and carers also need to play their part by bringing in a daily supply of fresh clothing to help patients get out of bed.

As part of this work, the Trust has introduced a number of initiatives to enhance the care and treatment of older patients.

Chief Operating Officer Ciara Moore is calling on relatives to support the Hospital and end “PJ paralysis”.

She said: “Time is an important currency in healthcare and many of our older patients do not want to spend long periods of time in hospital so it is vital that we do everything we can to get them home as soon as possible.

“Our nursing teams are encouraging appropriate patients to get out of bed, get dressed and sit in a chair. Even this simple activity can make a big impact on a patient’s wellbeing and prepares them for discharge.

“Our clinical teams are working in partnership to deliver the highest standard of care for our patients but we do need the support of the community. This work will not only benefit the patient but also help with the flow of the hospital, especially in busy periods. We are encouraging patients to get up, get dressed and get moving.”

To support getting all patients home, the Hospital has introduced Red2Green Days . This initiative aims to ensure that patient has valuable ‘Green Days’, in which all of the treatments lead towards the goal of getting home. While ‘Red Days’ have no value for the patient.

The Hospital is also encouraging patients to ask four key questions:

– “What is wrong with me?”

– “What is going to happen to me”

– “What needs to enable me to go home?”

– “When can I go home?”

Ms Moore said: “We would really like patients to play an active part in their care and treatment by asking staff these important questions. This activity also leads to an increase in patient wellbeing.”

Last month the Trust introduced the Red Bag scheme, which has received a good response from the care homes, ambulance teams and A&E staff.

Frail and seriously ill patients from 16 care homes are accompanied into hospital by a Red Bag, which contains vital medical information and their personal belongings.

The Trust will shortly be looking to recruit the second cohort of care homes to take part in the scheme, which has been funded by the Hospital’s Charitable Funds and The League of Friends.

                                                    —ENDS—

Chief Operating Officer Ciara Moore is pictured with Windsor Ward manager Phulmattie Mohan 

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