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Innovative hospital pyjamas pick up national award

An innovative new design for the bed clothes worn by hospital patients has picked up a national award.

The 'Pyjown' has been designed by Diane Hindson, a back care advisor at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust and aims to protect a patient's dignity while also making it easier for the patient to be dressed.

Diane explained: "When you are working with elderly patients or those who have stiff joints, are disabled or who have drips & lines dressing in, a normal pyjama top can be difficult for dressing and using a hospital theatre gown has its own dignity issues.

"After a few sleepless nights thinking about this I started to sketch out a different style top which I thought would address both these issues. The pyjown makes it much easier for these patients to be assisted to dress, without carers trying to 'contort' their arms into a pyjama sleeve or without having to resort to unbecoming, sometimes undignified, hospital theatre gowns. The pyjown looks just like a pyjama top once fitted, but is applied easily from the front and fastened at the back of the neck like a hospital gown. It is intended mostly for frail, bedbound patients, but as traditional pyjama bottoms are worn with it, should the patient be ambulatory, there is no risk of "bottom" exposure as with the traditional hospital gowns.

"Once I had my sketches I took them to the sewing room at Darlington Memorial Hospital and  Michelle Hodgson was able to make a 'mock up' of the design for me. From there I have received support from NHS Innovations and I am absolutely delighted to receive the HefmA award recognising my design."

The Pyjown is a one piece top, with wide, short sleeves which make it easier for IV tube access and the button, partial front opening allows for easy access to the chest for ECG or examination purposes. The button front and the plastic snap fasteners also mean that there is no interference with X-rays or MRIs.

Diane continued: "Maintaining patient dignity and promoting their comfort is a major benefit of the Pyjown. Taking care of the staff/carers and improving productivity is an added bonus. The ergonomic postural scoring tools confirm that dressing patients with restrictive shoulder joint movement with the traditional pyjama top is a high risk task for the carer. I hope that this simple, low/no extra cost, but high benefit, innovation will benefit patients, relatives, carers and care establishments for years to come."

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is now going to trial Diane's design on one of the elderly care wards at Darlington Memorial Hospital and will use the trial to gather feedback from patients, their families and staff on the new design.

The 'pyjown' picked up the 'innovation award' at the national awards for the Health Estates Facilities Management Association (HefmA) on Tuesday 10 May. County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust also received awards for 'FM team of the year' and 'FM manager of the year' for Alison McCree, the Trust's Associate Director of Facilities.

PHOTOS OF THE PYJOWN ARE AVAILABLE please see links down the right hand side of this page or contact the communications team on 01325 74 3576 / communications@cddft.nhs.uk

Published: 16 May 2011

'I have to compliment everyone on their pleasant persona and their expertise and knowledge. By the end of the 5 days, I did not feel as though I had been in a hospital ward and was very relaxed.'

Patient, Ward 16 Orthopaedics, University Hospital of North Durham