Rise and Shine Game

Rise and Shine Game –

Encouraging and promoting physical activity amongst our Older People

Rise and Shine is a game which was created to encourage a fun approach to physical activity on older person’s inpatient wards. The aim was to develop a ward based activity so everyone has an opportunity to take part in some physical activity when they are ready (clinically and personally), to prevent Hospital Acquired Deconditioning (HAD), in a fun, sociable way. It is primarily aimed at older hospital inpatients and care home residents.

With mobility in our older population a nationwide problem, the idea was to produce a card based game that requires the player to physically move to take part. This will lead to the increased mobilisation of our hospital inpatients and members of the care community.
This will not only help improve the patient’s mobility but also help to encourage patients to get up and get dressed and also improve their experience.

Bob Olley, North East artist and sculptor, patient relative, and member of the TOPIC Programme Board (left)
Victoria Christie, Associate Director at HI NENC (centre)
Rob Common, Head of Quality Improvement at STSFT (right)

Contact Details

Project Dates

Project Start 11/11/2021
Project End Ongoing


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It has been our pleasure to provide a range of business services to the Trust, and the innovator, to support the development of this wonderful game, and we look forward to seeing the positive impact this innovation will make to patient experience.
Victoria Christie, Associate Director at HI NENC
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There were 19.6 million hospital admissions in 2021 (as per Hospital Admitted Patient Care Activity, 2021-22) Of these, 3.5 million (22.2%) were people aged 75 years and older.

Older people who do not get enough opportunity to mobilise can have an increased risk of reduced bone mass and muscle strength, reduced mobility, increased dependence, confusion and demotivation.
These conditions can be a risk to health resulting in longer hospital stays.

Prolonged stays in hospital can be damaging for patients, especially those who are frail or elderly, as this can sometimes lead to an increased risk of falling, sleep deprivation, infections and risk of Hospital Acquired Deconditioning (HAD).

Rise and Shine is a game that consists of 30 unique designed tiles, each numbered 1-30 on one side and featuring a fun design on the other. The game also includes a post box where the tiles are placed. The game is designed to be played in a group setting, with staff identifying those who would benefit from participating in the game.

Once participants have been identified, they each pick a tile and engage in some form of physical activity and cognitive engagement appropriate to their needs and abilities. They then go onto to post the tile in the post box. Once everyone has taken part a winner is chosen at random, and receives a small prize.

The idea and illustrations for the game were created by the internationally renowned and local South Shields artist and sculptor Bob Olley.  Bob used his unique style of artwork to capture the real spirit and humour of the North East and has helped brighten up much of the North East with his work including South Tyneside Hospital’s Radiology department and corridors.

Bob is became part of the Older Persons Improvement Collaborative (TOPIC) Programme Board at STSFT at the start of the Rise and Shine innovation project. The Programme Board has since disbanded with work now being incorporated into a wider governance structure at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust (STSFT). TOPIC is an initiative STSFT introduced to recruit and retain nursing staff, and improve older peoples care and experience.

Through personal experience Bob talked about how a day in hospital can be very long for any patient, and in his and his family’s observations over time older people can become bored and sedentary during their stay. Bob came up with the idea of Rise and Shine as a way to bring some fun to the day by patients participating in a game. This also had the added benefit of encouraging older people to get up and get dressed and participate in some movement-based activity, promoting mobility.

The initial innovators for this project, Rob Common and Bob Olley, worked with two Older People Wards based at STSFT to develop the game from prototype into practice. The game has been produced by Focus games. These are available for purchase by healthcare providers from a dedicated Rise and Shine website. Focus games are a company who develop game-based resources to improve engagement in health and social care. Since 2004 they have developed 100+ games that make training, teaching, and engagement more effective and enjoyable.

The prototype game was piloted on ward E51 in Sunderland Royal Hospital and Ward 2 in South Tyneside District Hospital in August 2021. Due to the operational impact of Covid-19 there was a period of sporadic use.
The produced game is now being introduced in Care of the Elderly wards within South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and following initial feedback from patients and staff it has been found very successful in its aim to improve the mobility of the patients.

The funds from the sale of this game will then be placed in the South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trusts TOPIC charitable fund, and used to support new or ongoing initiatives in older peoples care.

Putting the game in wards has led to a morale boost not only for the patients, but also the members of staff who have been helping the patients to play this game.

“Feedback from Patients and staff has been really positive with patients saying that it relieves boredom and gets them laughing. They have suggested other ideas of fun things to do since its introduction”
Gail Tunstall, Quality Improvement Facilitator

This innovation has been helped by the combined efforts of the STSFT Innovation department and the Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria (HI NENC), whose support has been paramount in helping this project get off the ground. HI NENC supported the initiative by providing intellectual property expertise which facilitated commercialisation of the game.

The innovation department at STSFT is currently helping the team with commercialisation of the game so it can be purchased nationwide. The plan is that other Trusts and care homes will purchase the game.

A poster detailing the Rise and Shine project was submitted to the Health Service Journal annual awards in 2023 and was successful, winning the category for ‘working with vulnerable people’. STSFT Trust were also invited to present the game at that year’s conference. Taking the opportunity to share the innovation and promote the benefits of the game to a wider network.