PATIENTS are being encouraged out of bed and to get moving with a new in-hospital exercise scheme.

Nurses and physiotherapists at Warrington Hospital are transforming patients' lives with group exercise from the comfort of their bays.

Heather Gholamali, clinical lead for acute medical therapies at Warrington Hospital, said: "We are running a slightly different model of care on the ward where when patients who are quite poorly come in, we are increasing their activity levels.

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"What we find is when patients come into hospital they are less active and not engaging in normal functioning tasks and the older patients lose a lot of muscle strength and functional ability.

"From a therapy point of view, we are increasing their activity levels, introducing exercise classes and increasing the intensity while they are with us.

Warrington Guardian:

"This preserves their stamina so when they come to leave they are in a better physical state than when they came in.

"We are maintaining their functional abilities so they can go back home as they were previously.

"We are finding that the patients' length of stay is reduced so they don't stay in hospital as long. It has benefits for everyone as it (staying in hospital longer) leads to increase in number of infections and further deconditioning."

Alongside the physical benefits, staff are seeing a lot of cognitive benefits from the exercises too.

Heather added: "When the older patients come in and develop infections they can develop delirium so we also focus on their cognitive stimulation with crosswords and games, maintaining their link to current functions."

The exercise classes are a good social activity for patients and the staff play music for full stimulation which keeps patients' minds active.

Warrington Guardian:

These take place three times a week and therapists also do one-on-one interventions for the patients in between classes.

Heather said: "The patients absolutely love it – the feedback we have had is that they appreciate the effort that goes into it.

"As a supplement we give out exercise sheets that they can take home and continue the classes.

"When someone comes in they are at risk of losing their functional independence and deconditioning – even from a cognitive point of view

"We wanted to make sure everyone understands that being in hospital doesn't mean you can't get out of bed."