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Sleep Apnoea patients wide awake to Shared Decision Making

Newsdate: 10 April 2014

Members of the Wigan and Leigh Sleep Apnoea Support GroupThe Wigan and Leigh NHS Sleep Service is inviting new and existing members to come along and participate in the next Sleep Apnoea Patient Support Group meeting in Hindley on Friday 2 May.

Up to 26% of the population are thought to suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (sleep apnoea), which prevents sufferers from getting a good night’s sleep and is linked to serious medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

“Obstructive sleep apnoea and sleep disrupted breathing can have a serious impact on quality of life,” says Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust Sleep Apnoea Specialist Nurse, Lisa Butler.

The next Wigan and Leigh Sleep Apnoea Support Group meeting will be held at St. Benedict’s Club off Market Street, Hindley on Friday 2 May, 2-4pm.

Sleep apnoea sufferers can be permanently tired, resulting in a reduced quality of life. But through the Sleep Apnoea Support Group and a new innovation called Shared Decision Making from the Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA), more patients now receive effective treatment which can reduce blood pressure, risk of stroke and heart complications.

“AQuA came along with training and showed us the potential. We surveyed our patients, asking what they wanted from us, and the responses led us to provide an improved service.”

“We continually follow up our patients to encourage them to attend clinic and come along to the Sleep Apnoea Support Group where they benefit from meeting other people with sleep problems,” adds Lisa Butler.
Now the people of Leigh and Wigan have an easily accessible sleep service support group, and Shared Decision Making is here to stay following recent approval of a five-year expansion plan.
One person to have benefitted from attending the Sleep Apnoea Clinic is Anthony, who appreciates the benefits of Shared Decision Making. “When I was first diagnosed, I was one of those who gave up on treatment,” he says. “I was given a gum shield to wear and I couldn’t cope with it, so I went without help for years.”

“I’m in a much better place, and feel more confident to talk to people about the condition and more confident that doctors, nurses, consultants are listening. Speaking to consultants always seemed daunting before,” says Anthony.

“Shared Decision Making really makes a difference to Anthony and others. It helps us talk through the lifestyle issues facing sleep apnoea patients, how to use the apparatus as beneficially as possible and to discover what is most important to individual people. Patients respect that.”

Event: Wigan and Leigh Sleep Apnoea Support Group, St. Benedict’s Club off Market Street, Hindley, WN2 3AA on Friday 2 May, 2-4pm. Email or telephone 01942 773096 for more information.

Pictured above: Members of the Wigan and Leigh Sleep Apnoea Support Group