The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement is publishing a profile of the Snoring Disorders Centre, outlining the service and the impact it has had both for individual patients and Lincolnshire as a whole. This will be put up on the NHS Innovations website and circulated throughout the NHS as an example of best practice in service innovation. Here is an extract on the benefits the service has had in road accident reduction:
“Occupational road related deaths and accidents in Lincolnshire average about 79 per year. 20% of car accidents are shown to be sleep related although it’s uncertain how many are due to obstructive sleep apnoea. The cost of each fatal accident is around £1.64 million, so every accident prevented is of significant benefit to society and to the NHS. Many of our patients admit to feeling drowsy at the wheel.
“By December 2010, the number of fatal road traffic accidents had fallen from 79 to 45. This represents a saving of over £55 million to the economy, including the NHS. A contributory factor may be that the service has treated over 1,200 patients with sleep apnoea and these people are now able to drive more safely, rather than being in fear of falling asleep at the wheel.
“One patient who drives 50,000 miles a year for work said using the CPAP machine to treat his sleep apnoea has turned his life around: ‘For four or five years I struggled to sleep and I used to need two naps every day just to get through the day. My GP referred me to Mr Oko when I said I had trouble sleeping. Within weeks he got me on a CPAP machine which I use every night and I’ve never looked back. It’s made a huge difference to my life’.”