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New specialist service helping to diagnose and treat sleep disorders

A new specialist service in Rugby is helping to diagnose and treat the 20% or more of the adult population who suffer from sleep disorders.

The Hospital of St Cross is the first in Warwickshire, and one of only a handful in the country, to offer in-patient sleep services.

It helps treat conditions including sleep apnoea, narcolepsy, circadian rhythm sleep disorder and restless leg syndrome.

The new unit comprises two observation rooms where patients will stay overnight while staff monitor their brain activity, breathing and heart rates while they sleep.

As well as treating patients, it’s hoped the new unit can become a world-leading research centre to identify the causes of sleep disorders, and how to prevent them.

The unit was funded with a £169,000 investment from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, with additional support from the Friends of St Cross who donated £80,000 for beds, equipment and support for the construction of the unit.

Michelle Goodlad, Principal Healthcare Scientist for UHCW, said: “If left untreated, sleep conditions can result in a growing number of health problems in addition to the well-publicised dangers of drivers falling asleep at the wheel and causing accidents.

“Until now, patients in Warwickshire had to wait up to a year for diagnosis at specialist centres in Birmingham, Leicester or Cambridge.

“We can now book patients in within a few weeks and are starting to make appointments for patients in the surrounding counties. We will shortly be joining a number of national research programmes and aim to be recognised as a national centre of excellence for Sleep Studies.”

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