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Hospital pyjamas from Alexandra preserve patients' dignity
01
Aug '12
Nursing staff may have seen it all in the course of their job, but now they don’t have to – and it is all thanks to two ward staff and a surgeon who have helped pioneer the pyjamas of the future which not only preserve patients’ dignity but help reduce pain, infection and discomfort.

Traditional pyjamas have now been banished on the urology wards within the Heart of England NHS Trust, which includes Heartlands and Good Hope Hospitals, and replaced with the brand new, navy blue unisex pyjamas, which are a first for the medical profession.

Nurses, Belinda Briand and Heather Gerrard, and consultant urologist, Mr Dev Sarmah, came up with the design for the BGS patient pyjama trousers after seeing urology patients struggle with traditional hospital bedwear, which can prevent catheters from draining properly and make examinations difficult.

The 21st century bed wear protects a patient’s dignity via an integrated ‘modesty flap’ which covers exposed body areas where necessary catheter pipes need to run.

But to turn the BGS – a name taken from the initials of each of their surnames – into a full set of PJs, the staff turned to the private sector.

Work wear specialists Alexandra went on to design the patient pyjama top which incorporates front shoulder openings to allow medical access for central lines and a standard pair of trousers.

Consultant Urologist, Mr Bhupendra Sarmah, said: “After spending years grappling with the traditional pyjamas to ensure patients’ catheters flow freely, we decided to come up with a design of our own that not only solves this problem, but also preserves our patients’ dignity.

“Since trialing the pyjamas, we’ve even been able to further adapt them by working with Alexandra to replace the traditional metal press studs with plastic versions. This makes them even more practical as it means patients can still wear them to scans or X-rays and also saves us time.”

The concept was turned into reality after staff at the Heart of England NHS Trust won a competition held by MidTECH, which is part of the NHS innovation network.

Nick Acaster, Marketing Director at Alexandra Workwear, said: “We were delighted to have joined forces with the Heart of England NHS Trust to help turn their pioneering design, which is a first, into reality.

“The pyjamas have been really well received by their patients, who are not only benefiting from their practicality, but are also finding them far more comfortable than the old-style pyjamas. They’ve been a huge hit in the West Midlands and we’re looking forward to rolling them out to hospital trusts up-and-down the country.”

Alexandra

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