British Lung Foundation

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The British Lung Foundation are carrying out the biggest ever survey of sleep apnoea sufferers in the UK. It asks people with OSA what they think about their condition and their treatment, and what they would like services to look like in the future for OSA patients. If you are a sufferer please take the time to contribute.

Complete the survey here

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The British Lung Foundation is running a campaign to raise awareness of sleep apnoea. In their10-point OSA Charter, they call on governments across the UK to take action so that people with OSA and their families get the support and treatment they need.

You can help to make a difference! by completing this online form on the BLFs website, you can tell your elected representative why it is important to take action on OSA to bring about earlier and better rates of diagnosis, and to secure better care and treatment for all those with the condition.

 

The OSA Charter

The British Lung Foundation…

Believes that people with OSA and their families have a right to:
1. OSA screening, through primary care wherever possible;
2. a speedy and accurate diagnosis in a sleep clinic, wherever they live in the UK;
3. access to appropriate treatment and to a comprehensive specialist sleep service if needed, wherever they live in the UK;
4. appropriate information and ongoing support for the management of the condition, according to agreed national standards and provided by suitably qualified and trained staff; and
5.timely and relevant information on the implications of an OSA diagnosis for vigilance-critical job roles, and fast-tracking for diagnosis and treatment if people with OSA drive for a living.

Calls on governments across the UK to:

6. make OSA a national priority;
7. increase awareness of the symptoms and dangers of, and issues that surround, OSA among medical professionals, employers, the general public and those at greatest risk;
8. ensure collection of comprehensive data to enable commissioners and service planners to provide effective services; and
9. encourage investment in research, including clinical trials, recognising the potential cost savings and improvements to quality of life that could be made.

And encourages employers to:

10. arrange for all staff who are employed as drivers or in other vigilance-critical roles to be screened for OSA.

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As part of the British Lung Foundation’s and Philips Respironics’ three year programme (begun this year) to raise public awareness and improve diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea in the UK, the campaign is urging Wales to wake up to the growing problem of sleep apnoea and the huge impact it can have on people’s lives if left untreated. The campaign calls for specialist sleep clinics to be set up in all parts of Wales.
The number of people admitted to hospital as a result of the condition has more than doubled in the last decade and it is estimated around 6% of otherwise healthy adults in Wales suffer from sleep apnoea. Chris Mulholland, head of the British Lung Foundation Wales, said: “Wales needs to wake up to the problem of sleep apnoea. It has a huge impact on people’s lives – not just those with the condition but also their partners and families.
“It can lead to all kinds of other health problems. Plus it massively increases the risk of being involved in a serious car accident. Sleep apnoea is becoming more widespread in Wales, partly because it is often linked with obesity, which is on the increase. Admissions for the condition have more than doubled in the past decade. But the real problem is that many more people are simply not being diagnosed.

“Specialist sleep services are not available in all parts of Wales. With increasing rates of sleep apnoea, we have to ensure that everyone in Wales who needs access to a sleep service can get it.”

The British Lung Foundation’s Breathe Easy support groups around Wales will hold a series of events this week to highlight the condition.

In the UK it is estimated that over one million people may be suffering from OSA, with prevalence being higher in men and those that are overweight. To date only 10% of sufferers are aware of their condition and are being treated to alleviate their symptoms.

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