A new service to help people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) opened at the weekend.

The new service, which opened at Hampton Hill Medical Centre, will help with the diagnosis and management of the condition, which currently affects approximately 1.5 million adults in the UK.


What is OSA?

OSA is a condition that affects the throat. It is caused by an obstruction, blocking the airways and preventing air from reaching the lungs. Few people are aware they have it and men are three times more likely to be affected. Those who suffer from the condition can experience a number of symptoms including difficulty to breathe and gasping for breath.


Other symptoms include:

  • very loud snoring
  • daytime fatigue and drowsiness
  • short-term memory loss
  • multiple trips to urinate through the night
  • early morning headaches
  • loss of interest in sex


How Does The New Service Work?

The new community based OSA service has been commissioned by Richmond CCG and is expected to bring life changing benefits to sufferers. Patients will be able to receive treatment within their own homes, meaning those who are suspected of having the condition, or have already been diagnosed, will no longer need to go elsewhere for assessment. It will also reduce the need for surgery.

Richmond is one of the first places to benefit from this new service, which has been developed in partnership with Richmond CCG, ear, nose and throat surgeons and Department of Health OSA advisors.

The partnership is hopeful that the new service will be able to help 80% of sufferers successfully manage their condition, either through straightforward advice on lifestyle changes or state of the art technology, depending on the patient.


What Should I Do If I Think I Have OSA?

“For some people who snore, the cause will be OSA. It is a common, treatable condition, but many people don’t know they have it and require diagnosis. It is important to make an appointment to see your GP if you have any symptoms.”

Dr Graham Lewis, local GP and chair of Richmond CCG


If you think you may be displaying symptoms of OSA, the advice from Richmond CCG is to book an appointment to see your GP as soon as possible. If you are registered at Hampton Hill Medical Centre, or any of these listed surgeries, and need to see a GP out of hours, you can visit our Primary Care Centre in the evening or at weekends, situated at Teddington Memorial Hospital.

If your GP finds your symptoms to be related to OSA, you may be referred to the OSA service, which will provide you with medical advice and support on how to manage the condition.

For more information on OSA and its symptoms, please visit: www.sleepthebestmedicine.com. For more information about the new OSA service in Richmond, speak to your GP.