Doctors and nurses at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital welcomed a national figure who is campaigning against a major healthcare issue facing elderly patients.
Prof Brian Dolan founded the #EndPJParalysis movement in a bid to help stop older patients from losing the ability to do everyday tasks, such as getting dressed, through Deconditioning Syndrome.
Evidence has shown that 10 days in bed is the equivalent of 10 years of ageing in the muscles of people over the age of 80. Once lost, it is harder to regain this muscle control, which impacts on recovery. But hospital staff are working hard to try and prevent this by encouraging patients to get dressed and moving along with asking relatives or carers to bring in a fresh supply of clean clothes.
During his visit to the QEH on Friday, June 9, Prof Dolan said: “I like the feel of the QEH. This hospital has a feel of kindness, determination and friendliness and a desire for better.
“The staff here would like to do more to eliminate waste from healthcare systems and there is no shortage of great ideas and solutions to make it even better here.”
Prof Dolan has been working with staff on the Lean Thinking and Transformational Leadership programme along with the Today course, which are aimed to bring about improvement initiatives.
He said: “The one thing I know about healthcare is that the problems are uniquely similar but the first step towards fixing the problem is identifying the problem. If we can create 1000 stories of small changes then what we can create is a bigger change.”
Ward staff at the QEH are already doing their bit to fight Deconditioning Syndrome by introducing 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?”
Chief Operating Officer Ciara Moore said: “We are pleased to be working with Prof Dolan to bring about changes which will support our patients. The nurses and doctors on our wards care for many older and frail patients so it is vital that we do our best to ensure that they receive the highest standard of healthcare. But we continue to appeal to relatives and carers to support our staff by ensuring that patients have a fresh and clean supply of clothing while they are with us. It is vital to the recovery for some patients to get up and moving as soon as possible.”