Patients will be encouraged to “Eat, Drink, Dress, Move to Improve” while they are recovering in hospitals across Walsall, Wolverhampton and Cannock to boost their health and wellbeing and give them a head start when they return home.
The initiative, EDDMI for short, is being led by Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Dietitians and Nurses across Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (RWT). And relatives, carers and friends can play their part too.
During a hospital stay many patients lack appetite or drink less, and as they lie in bed their movement is often reduce or restricted. This combination of factors can hamper their recovery and affect their wellbeing when they are discharged home.
Through EDDMI, patients are supported to keep active and stay well-nourished and hydrated throughout their stay. The approach relies on the involvement of the whole ward team – Nurses, Doctors, Allied Health Professionals and Clinical Support Workers.
Dr Rosalind Leslie, Chief Allied Health Professional for RWT, explained: “The four elements that EDDMI focuses on – eating, drinking, dressing and moving – are so important to our patients’ wellbeing while they are in hospital. Simple changes to routine and mindset when patients are in our care can have a huge, positive impact.
“Deconditioning, for example reduced muscle strength, pressure ulcers, constipation and respiratory problems, can be avoided if these changes are embedded and encouraged by all staff involved in patient care. It means that patients then feel more at home, keeping up their daily activity if possible, and getting dressed and out of their beds, ultimately making them feel better too.”
Data from NHS England reveals that in the first 24 hours of bed rest, muscle power is reduced by two to five per cent in older people. By the time patients are discharged, there is typically a 50 per cent decline in function.
Julie Woods is a Senior Sister on Ward 1 at Walsall Manor Hospital, supporting the initiative.
She said: “We encourage patients to be as independent as possible during their stay. Getting up, moving and eating promotes good mood and shortens hospital stay. Relatives, carers and friends can also help us by providing clothing for day and night to promote normal life patterns of daytime and nighttime for their loved ones.”
EDDMI was piloted across a couple of wards at both Trusts last year and the initiative is now being rolled out more widely.