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Since the outbreak of COVID-19 attending hospitals and clinics in person has been difficult and potentially involves the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus. Therefore, the Sleeping Disorders Centre is now completely online for both NHS and private patients.

We are able to deliver the same high quality service either via telephone or online, organising all aspects of care remotely: including sleep studies, diagnosis, CPAP fitting, delivery, maintenance and long-term care.

This means that people suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea and other sleep-related and ENT conditions are still able to access first class care from Mr. Oko, Professor Dhillon and the rest of our clinical team. Our mission to raise awareness of the suffering caused by sleep apnoea, and enable those affected to live normal lives through fast diagnosis and effective treatment, is still continuing depite the challenges of the pandemic.

The Sleeping Disorders Centre’s private clinic has moved from Harley Street to The London Digestive Centre, in partnership with HCA Healthcare. However, no in-person clinics are taking place at the moment with all appointments taking place by phone or online.

Contact details

Private patients
The London Digestive Centre
41 Welbeck Street
Telephone: 020 3797 7248
Email: david.odimayo@sleepthebestmedicine.com

NHS patients (with GP referral)
The Bostonian Private Wing
Pilgrim Hospital
Sibsey Road
Boston, Linconshire
PE21 9QS
Telephone: 01205 446285
Fax: 01205 311442
Email:  sally.booth@ulh.nhs.uk

There is no current evidence that CPAP use increases the risk for getting or developing complications of coronavirus (COVID-19). However, many patients with OSA may also have other long term health problems that may increase their risk. Please ensure that if you are affected by any other conditions that you check if they are relevant for COVID-19.

OSA Alliance advice for CPAP users:

  • People with OSA should continue to use their CPAP at home as normal.
  • There is no evidence that using CPAP makes you more likely to catch COVID-19, and nothing to suggest that CPAP will make you more unwell if you do catch it.
  • If a CPAP user becomes unwell with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (new cough and fever > 37.8 C), please follow government guidance regarding self and household isolation.
  • We do not know whether CPAP makes virus spread worse within a household. This will be something you will need to consider when deciding whether or not to continue using CPAP if you are self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19. You may wish to distance yourself from vulnerable household members by changing bedrooms or stopping CPAP for a short time.
  • Any respiratory infection, particularly with a blocked nose, can make it more difficult to use CPAP. Try and persist, but if wearing CPAP makes you feel worse (e.g. by increasing coughing and disturbing sleep), then stop using it until your respiratory symptoms improve. Sleeping more upright, avoiding alcohol and using a mandibular advancement spilt if you have one, may help as alternatives to CPAP in reducing OSA a little in this period. Your OSA symptoms are likely to worsen over the week, but will resolve when you restart CPAP.
  • Routine hygiene is adequate for infection control: changing machine filters routinely, cleaning surfaces, cleaning mask and tubing with hand-hot soapy water (washing up liquid) and washing hands regularly.
  • Masks and machines should not be shared.
  • Please use the telephone number/email address provided by your sleep centre for urgent issues with your equipment or sleep/OSA related symptoms. Do not attend in person unless instructed to do so. Please be aware the team may not be able to respond quickly, as staff may have been moved to Emergency Services.
  • Please look after masks and tubing carefully as there may be a temporary shortage in the future.
  • A reminder that DVLA says anyone with excessive sleepiness having or likely to have an adverse effect on driving must not drive.

In an expert interview in Pulmonology Advisor Toni Rodriguez investigates whtere sleep apnoea is a potential risk factor for COVID-19.
In the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), underlying health conditions such as lung disease, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease confer an increased risk of infection and associated adverse outcomes including admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) and death. Additionally, the authors of several recently published papers have proposed that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may represent another important variable contributing to increased risk related to COVID-19.1,2

In 2 small studies of individuals admitted to the ICU with confirmed COVID-19, researchers reported that OSA was present in 21.0% and 28.6% of patients, respectively.3,4 Such findings suggest that OSA “could potentially contribute to worsening hypoxemia and the cytokine storm that occurs in COVID patients,” wrote the authors of an article published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM).2

However, the mechanisms potentially linking to OSA to worse outcomes in COVID-19 remain to be identified, according to coauthor Atul Malhotra, MD, a board-certified pulmonologist, intensivist, professor of medicine, and research chief of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. “Some studies have suggested that sleep apnea is a risk factor for pneumonia, and sleep deprivation — even without sleep apnea — has been associated with risk of developing pneumonia and with impaired response to vaccinations,” Dr Malhotra noted.5,6

One area that warrants special attention in future research is the role of the immune system in OSA, and there is a need for additional investigation regarding the benefits of OSA treatment from the standpoint of respiratory infection, noted Dr Malhotra. “Trying to separate the effects of obesity, diabetes, and sleep apnea will likely require interventional studies — these can be difficult to differentiate since they are all correlated.”

Mohammed has sleep apnoea – a serious condition that can lead to constantly interrupted sleep and substantial weight gain. Most of those suffering don’t realise they have it.

Video journalist: Cebo Luthuli

Amanda Matthews is trying to raise £12,000 to buy a specialised wheelchair to allow her daughter, Phoebe, to have a better quality of life. Please read her story and donate to the campaign.




“Phoebe is our very soon to be 16 year old daughter (her birthday is the 16th September) who has cerebral Palsy spastic quadraplegic which affects all her limbs, she is unable to stand, walk, use her arms to feed herself or write or sit unaided. She does have a wicked sense of humour and a very gentle and loving heart that loves life and loves socialising. She started out in life with a massive fight on her hands as she was born 16 weeks early weighing only 1lb 10oz and we were told on two occasions that she wasn’t going to make it but Phoebe being Phoebe was and still is a fighter.

We had the opportunity to try this fab powerchair from a company called “easyrise” that reclines, sits and stands up. Phoebe loved it!! it was so great to see the smile on her face she just lit up when she was able to stand in the chair!! We were at Monkeyworld in Dorset a few years ago and we had to stand back from the glass enclosures so that Phoebe could see the monkeys because she was in her wheelchair, and she wasn’t tall enough to see through the glass close up. The amount of people that stood right in front of her with their noses up against the glass was infuriating as well as heartbreaking when Phoebe would say “oww I can’t see!”. With a chair like this it would mean she could stand up the same as everyone else and see what she wanted to see and when she wanted to see it. When you are at a wheelchair level there is so much that you can’t see as well as being ignored, but this chair gives social inclusion and a chance for Phoebe to be seen and noticed.

It also has a practical use as standing is a very important part of Phoebes physio programme she does have a standing frame at home which we hoist her in and out of but she only goes in it once a day this helps prevent hip displacements and helps keep muscles and bones strong and prevents operations

which we want to avoid as much as possible. This chair would allow more frequent standing as often and as long as Phoebe wanted. The chair also has the capability of lifting just Phoebe’s legs up to straighten them again another great physio move for stretching her legs which we currently have to do with leg gaitors. This chair also lays flat which would be of great help when we are out and we need to use the disabled toilet for cares.

This is a great chair however it costs more than we can afford. We can’t get help through the NHS to fund this chair as it is too expensive. Which is why we have decided to try this route of funding to see if we can get some or all of the fees to pay for it and allow Phoebe to “stand up to her disabililty”.”

Donate to the campaign…


A large part of the population suffers from nasal congestion and a condition called rhinitis, which makes breathing difficult. Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal membranes caused by an allergic or non-allergic reaction or by hormones, infections, occupational or other triggering factors.

It is a very common disease that results in significant costs for medical treatment, impairs breathing and disrupts sleep, causing fatigue and reduced productivity at work and at school. Treatments offered are antihistamines or surgical procedures or a combination of both, which are costly, may have disadvantages and do not guarantee appropriate relief.

The Snore Centre at 150 Harley Street nows offer patients with non-allergic rhinitis a simple twentyminute, non-invasive outpatient KOS neuromodulation treatment without surgery or pharmaceuticals, with almost instant relief or within a few days for those responding.


Scotland has more snorers than anywhere else in the UK a recent sleep study has found. The study was conducted by Ergoflex UK- a memory foam mattress company- who have created a map highlighting the regions with the most snores.

A total of 2,438 Britons aged 18 and over, all of whom stated that they were in a co-habiting relationship were quizzed about their sleeping patterns, habits and those of their partner. Scotland topped the list of snorers with 61% saying either they or their partner snored. The East of England was second with 55%, West Midlands third with 52% and North East was the least snoring region with 9%.

The respondents were asked a series of questions such as: ‘Does your partner ever wake you up in the night?’ Almost three quarters of respondents, 72%, stated ‘yes’, with ‘their snoring’ (42%) and ‘moving around’ (26%) topping the list of ways they did so.

The study also found that 13% of respondents admitted that at one point or another they had woken themselves up snoring.

Mr Michael Oko FRCS(ORL-HNS), Consultant ENT Surgeon of 150 Harley Street, commented:

“Sleep takes up between a quarter and a third of our lives and serves to refresh and restore our bodies, yet snoring is damaging for so many. Severe snoring is not only socially disruptive to partners, often leading to couples being forced to sleep in separate rooms at night, it can also signal more severe sleep disorders such as Obstructive Sleep Apnoea with which patients stop breathing periodically at night, waking up grumpy and tired with early morning headaches. If you or your partner snore so badly that you cannot even share the same room, you need to see your doctor and get it checked out.”

Jed MacEwan, Managing Director of Ergoflex said: “Snoring is commonly seen as amusing, but in reality it’s anything but funny.

“Living with a partner who regularly snores of course jeopardises your own sleep quality, and experiencing disrupted sleep over a sustained period of time isn’t ideal for your health and wellbeing. For the snorer themselves it could well be a symptom of more serious problems, so simply ‘accepting’ the condition could be a dangerous decision. We’d implore anyone who suffers from snoring to take it very seriously, for their own good as well as their partner’s.”


The Spalding Guardian has an article on the increase in outpatients attending clinics at Johnson Hsopital.

“Already in the five years that the Outpatients Department at Johnson Community Hospital has been open there has been a dramatic increase in the services that it offers and in the number of patients who attend.

“When the department opened in 2009, we saw approximately 53,239 patients through the doors. In 2014 to date, we have already seen 11,743 more patients than by the end of 2009 and are set to see on average 2,000 more patients each month by the end of the year.

“During this time, our team at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust has worked with other health and care providers in the county to develop the range of clinics and services available locally. By doing so, we have been able to help reduce the distance patients with certain conditions have to travel for their appointments.

“Next year we are pleased to be welcoming and expanding clinics run by our colleagues at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

“Onel clinic increasing available appointments in the department is Sleep Apnoea. The great advantage for patients with this clinic increase overall is that some clinics will run on a Saturday, allowing a lot more flexibility for patients to attend out of work time. However, as always, we do ask that patients let us know if they are unable to attend any of their appointments so that it can be offered to someone else.”

Read the article in the Spalding Guardian


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