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Ready, Steady, Go is an initiative launched by the physiotherapy department which aims to change the ethos within the hospital to be a more active environment. It is designed to educate and encourage the children and their families on how they can be active whilst in hospital and how they can maintain this once they return home.
The project is split into 3 sections.
The Ready element is all about keeping to their usual routine and trying to make their days in hospital more like their days at home, such as getting up, dressed, out of bed if possible and sitting out during meal times. This helps maintain a sense of structure for the child and encourages greater activity and movement.
The Steady element focuses on what activity the patient is doing in hospital and what’s in place to encourage them to improve or maintain their level of activity. This is where we encourage all staff to get creative to think of ideas of what the child can get involved in. Some examples include; daily lap of the ward, come up with a dance routine or try an online exercise video. More ideas and resources can be found on our twitter page @AlderHeyPhysio or go to the Alder Hey’s YouTube channel. We also have Everton in the community supporting us with this section by providing 1:1 virtual activity sessions to the children in their rooms.
The Go element aims to encourage the children and their families to lead active lifestyles at home and direct them to the appropriate resources in their community. Maintaining a level of physical activity in the long term strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels and will strengthen the heart to pump blood more efficiently.
This project is not a physiotherapy service and is not designed to replace physiotherapy treatment so if a patient does require physiotherapy, they should still be referred to the therapy team as usual.
Physical activity is so important for overall health and wellbeing, including physical and psychological benefits. Physically, exercise helps improve blood flow, prevents the possibility of blood clots, can reduce the risk of pressure sores from lying in bed for long periods of time, prevents the loss of muscular strength and often helps ease pain. Psychologically, it can improve general mood, increase energy levels, help improve sleep and boost self-esteem. All of which can aid a faster recovery and an easier transition back home with much less of an adjustment required. National guidance recommends at least 180 minutes of physical activity per day for children between 1-5 years and 60 minutes per day for those aged between 5-18 years.
As part of the project, some of the team members from across the hospital have the role of an activity champion and are assigned to each ward. They will visit the wards regularly to identify and review any patients who are suitable to participate. Their aim is encourage patients to be as active as possible during their stay and to educate families about the importance of physical activity.
Patient categories have been created in order to easily identify 3 clear levels of patient ability. This helps ensure the appropriate activities are suggested and enables us to refer within the team and to external activity groups. This list is not extensive and should be used as guidance. Please consider patient’s pain on an individual basis. Some patients may only fit one of the criteria in the category.
For more information or resources;
Speak to an activity champion
E-mail – ReadySteadyGo@alderhey.nhs.uk
@AlderHeyPhysio & #ReadySteadyGo
Alder Hey Children's Charity