Drivers offered anonymous sleep apnoea test

Drivers who fear they have a medical condition that stops them breathing in their sleep are being offered an anonymous test that will diagnose the disorder and offer advice.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS) can leave sufferers feeling chronically tired, preventing them from remaining alert and increasing the chances of a road traffic accident.

It is thought to affect as many as 40,000 commercial vehicle drivers.

However, concerns have been raised that professional drivers who suspect they have the condition are not seeking treatment because they think they will lose their licence.

Now a specialist hospital in Cambridgeshire has teamed up with to provide an anonymous service for people to be treated for OSAS.

The Anonymous Sleep Apnoea Process uses monitoring equipment overnight in the privacy of a patient’s own home.

Specialist sleep consultants at Papworth Hospital then analyse the test results and provide a diagnosis, NHS treatment or advice.

Dr Ian Smith, director of Papworth Hospital’s respiratory support and sleep centre said: “We know that treating sleep apnoea can greatly improve quality of life and reduce the risk of accidents, especially on the roads.

“We hope that by providing an anonymous service we will be able to reach another group of patients and give them the opportunity to be treated for their own sake, but also for the benefit of us all through making our roads safer.”