In 2017, the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby will be the first in Warwickshire to offer a new service for patients with sleep disorders.

Following a £169,000 investment by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust, work will start in the New Year on a new sleep unit.  The new unit will comprise two observation rooms in a quiet area of the hospital, as well as specialist equipment.

The Friends of St Cross have also thrown their support behind the new unit, pledging to raise £80,000 for the project.  The huge donation will go towards beds and other equipment.

The Hospital of St Cross will become just one of a few centres in the country to offer inpatient sleep services.

Patients will stay overnight in the new unit, while staff use machines to monitor the patients’ brain activity, breathing, and heart rates while they sleep.

An outpatient sleep service already runs from the hospital, which uses equipment funded by the Friends of St Cross over the last two years.

The Friends are hoping to gain support from the local transport and distribution businesses in the area, as well as from the wider community who will benefit from this new service.

In April, the team became the first ever Respiratory and Sleep Department to achieve the prestigious Improving Quality In Physiological Services (IQIPS) accreditation from the Royal College of Physicians.

As well as treating patients, it’s also hoped that the new unit at St Cross can become a world-leading research centre to identify the causes of sleep disorders, and how to prevent them.

David Moon, Chief Finance & Strategy Officer at UHCW NHS Trust, said:

“I’m delighted to announce that another new service is being brought to the Hospital of St Cross.

“We’re committed to expanding services at the hospital, and the new £249,000 unit announced today will offer vital sleep services to patients across Warwickshire and beyond.

“It’s only been possible to establish this new service in Rugby with the help from The Friends of St Cross, and we’re really grateful for the support they have committed to provide.”

 Dr Asad Ali, Consultant Respiratory Physician, said:

“St Cross was the perfect site for our new sleep unit, and builds on the outpatient services we already offer to patients.  At present the nearest inpatient sleep units are in Birmingham, Leicester and Cambridge, and we’re delighted that the first centre in Warwickshire will be at St Cross.

“Patients have been telling us that they would like to be seen closer to home, and because of increasing demand, some patients have also been waiting longer for their inpatient tests.

“Conditions such as sleep apnoea can be really dangerous if they’re not treated, especially for shift workers in industries like manufacturing and transportation.  We’re looking forward to treating these patients at St Cross in 2017.”

The new service will undertake Polysomnography which is a complex test that is performed in a quiet soundproof room, suitably dark for the patient to sleep without disturbance.

The patient is connected to a number of sensors that monitor the brain electrical activity, eye movements in sleep and muscle tone. Patients also have their ECG, breathing patterns, Oxygen levels, body movements and snoring monitored and observed with video recording via an infrared camera.

The new centre will be staffed by a multidisciplinary team including consultants, specialist nurses and dieticians.

Willy Goldschmidt, Chairman of the Friends of St Cross, said:

“The Charity is delighted to support this project which not only makes a difference for the patients who will use the new service but also reinforces the importance of the Hospital of St Cross in the Coventry and Warwickshire health economy.

“It is particularly pleasing that this new service builds on the Friends’ initial donation of Sleep Apnoea diagnostic equipment in 2014 which was supplemented earlier this year as the service expanded.”