UK Parliament debates sleep apnoea and the costs to the NHS

Earlier this month, British members of parliament (MPs) held a debate on the steps that the government should take to facilitate the better diagnosis and treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

The BBC recorded the 30-minute debate in full and a link to this is provided at the foot of this article if you wish to view and hear it online.

Debate on Sleep Apnoea

Julie Hilling, Labour MP for Bolton West, led the debate and stated. ”We need to make both the public and medical practitioners aware,” Hilling said after relating stories of several constituents who suffered with delayed sleep apnoea diagnoses.

The cost savings to the NHS of treating OSA patients would be enormous, Hilling said. “Currently we estimate that only 22% of all OSA patients are treated across the UK. If we were to Increase diagnosis and treatment rates to 45% of all OSA patients—just 45%—this could yield an annual saving of over 28 billion pounds to the NHS.” “It seems to me the time for talking is over…It’s now time to take action,” said Hilling in conclusion before passing the debate to the Health Minister.

Health Minister Norman Lamb replied that he agrees about the need to raise awareness and understanding, not just among the general public but also particularly among general practitioners. He concluded by saying the economic case demonstrates that better preventative work will save the system massive amounts of money and improve constituents’ lives both in quality and length.

At SleepPro we have often focused on OSA and Health Costs – not only for maintaining quality of life and good care for the more elderly members of our community, but also for cutting back on a wide range of the major illnesses including Cancer, Coronary Disease, Diabetes and some of the other serious illnesses at a younger age level. OSA does not discriminate and exists at all ages – even in babies.

The NHS is costing us all significantly more each year and statistics show that with higher unemployment and more people on Pension and State Benefits, the Government need to make the public aware of the increasing burden on the taxpayer and the possible resultant lowering of service provision.

Reducing snoring and other major sleep disorders can help significantly in taking pressure off the soaring NHS budgets and that can help us all.

Leading specialists estimate that 200,000 people in the UK suffer from sleep apnoea, but many however are totally unaware they have the condition, and only one in five get the appropriate treatment – and that figure excludes the many millions of snorers whose health suffers as a consequence of doing so – again a problem ignored by the majority.

They state that “Widespread availability of resources to diagnose and treat sleep apnoea patients are urgently needed to reduce the crippling health and economic burden of this condition. Prompt diagnosis and treatment of people with sleep apnoea is of paramount importance.”

If you suspect that you suffer from this condition – act now – and read this website for more details of the condition. Using a simple oral appliance, like a sports gum shield, could save your life or that of your partner.

The SleepPro Custom does exactly that and is not only NHS Approved, but has been recently researched alongside other products by Papworth Hospital’s specialist medical team, and is recommended by them as being the leading recommended solution for OSA and snoring.

LINK to Parliament Debate

By John Redfern