Deconditioning in older people with frailty may start within hours of their lying on a trolley or bed. Up to 65 per cent of older patients experience decline in function during hospitalisation. Many of these patients could prematurely end up in a care home because of ‘deconditioning’ and the loss of functional abilities in hospital.
It is not only the therapist’s job to combat the syndrome of deconditioning: it is incumbent of all staff to encourage the patient to ‘Sit up, get dressed, keep moving’. Be they doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals, dinner ladies, porters, everyone should be able to encourage this.
In 2005, under the leadership of Dr Amit Arora, the University Hospital of North Midlands embarked on a campaign to address the issue of deconditioning across its local hospitals. It began to promote the 'Sit up, get dressed, keep moving' deconditioning awareness and prevention campaign.
Since then, the campaign has gained the endorsement of the BGS and the interest of 20 UK hospitals as well as institutions as far away as Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
The following downloadable resources were developed by the University Hospital of North Midlands and have been endorsed by the BGS.