“Get up, Get dressed, Get moving” – every movement counts: HSE/South East Community Healthcare

A national campaign, developed by the Office of the Nursing and Midwifery Services Director in partnership with the Health and Social Care Professions Office, HSE and entitled “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving” is being implemented to great effect across counties Waterford and Wexford.

The aim of “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving” is to maintain the mobility of patients, residents and health service users and to guard against their deconditioning. The network members includes all services across the spectrum of health care (including acute hospitals, mental health, care of older persons and disability services) and works in partnership with academics, researchers, sporting organisations and the Age Alliance. It has particular resonance as we see people decondition and become frailer at this and coming stages of Ireland’s pandemic experience.

The impetus for “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving” originated in advice being offered by physiotherapists to older inpatients in hospitals – that is, to stay active mentally and physically during their hospitalisation. The principal was subsequently stretched across several disciplines and spheres of health care and health and wellbeing in the community.

The Dept. of Psychiatry acute mental health inpatient unit at University Hospital Waterford was the first such facility internationally to complete a 14 day audit to inform how its Recreation, Recovery and Therapeutic Programmes could be oriented to take account of “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving”.

(Subsequently) In Co. Wexford, the HSE has collaborated with agencies including Creative Ireland, Wexford County Council (and both its Sports Active programme and Arts Office), Age Friendly Ireland, Creative Ageing International, the Wexford Mental Health Association, the Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, the Mobile Music Machine project, Dance Artist Deirdre Grant, Musician Emily Redmond and Rag Tree Farm equine facility in Kilmuckridge, Co. Wexford.

Illustrating the benefits of “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving” across health services, the HSE’s Director of Nursing/National Lead Older Persons Services/Clinical and Integrated Programmes Deirdre Lang says:

“Get up, Get dressed, Get moving’ is more important now than ever, as we begin to see if not also undo the impact of socially isolating by our older and more vulnerable populations. Remaining at home for long periods has left significant numbers of people with reduced mobility, experiencing deconditioning, muscle weakness and joint pain. Reduced mobility has a knock-on effect and many people have put on weight, are experiencing joint and muscle pain and report feeling consistently low.”

“Get up, Get dressed, Get moving’ promotes physical activity in any form that meets the needs and ability of the individual – which can be from sitting to standing from a chair to running five kilometres. The key message of “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving’ is that every movement counts.” 

“The plan for the remainder of 2021 is to roll out “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving’ in acute hospitals, at home, a scale-up of the work being undertaken in Waterford/Wexford Mental Health Services and the development of work with National Ambulance Service, Intensive Care Units and social inclusion groups.”

Speaking about where examples of “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving’ have been implemented locally, the HSE/South East Community Healthcare’s Acting Principal Psychology Manager for Wexford Mental Health Services Dr. Denise Rogers says: 

"We have seen significant improvements in the quality of life of service in those mental health settings where “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving’ is now part of the overall approach.” 

“Get up, Get dressed, Get moving’ is essentially facilitating opportunities for people to be active in ways that are meaningful to them – be it spending time by the water, equine assisted approaches, pet therapy, dance, singing, music participation, live performance, woodlands walks, yoga, art and sports such as golf, hurling or table-cricket. The possibilities are endless!”

“We have been working locally with Dr Evan Matthews, Research Fellow, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), translating research to practice. People with mental health difficulties are more likely to experience health inequalities, are at greater risk of physical health problems and prone to more sedentary lifestyle. They are also more likely to encounter barriers in engaging in activities which others without mental health difficulties do not face. Those with dual diagnosis are even more at risk. Increasing opportunities for people to “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving’ can accrue a range of benefits for individuals, services and communities.”

“Collaboration is key to the success of this movement and this work is made possible through facilitating engagement with those who attend services and those who are important to them with colleagues across services and through both community and national partnerships."

Evan Yacoub (National Clinical Development Lead/Mental Health and Intellectual Disability, HSE) has said “Get up, Get dressed, Get moving’ is a timely and welcome initiative and that appropriate occupation and maintaining good levels of physical activity are vital for good mental health.

Last updated on: 22 / 06 / 2021