Drive-up Sleep Clinic staff praised

STAFF in the Sleep Clinic at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have risen to the challenge of new ways of working to help patients through the Covid pandemic.

Prior to Covid these patients waiting for diagnosis of a respiratory sleep disorder would attend a clinic for review and be loaned sleep study equipment to monitor their condition overnight.

Visiting restrictions to hospitals saw the team have to look for new ideas to help their patients and the actions taken have proved successful.

Julie Chapman, Lead Physiologist from the Department of Respiratory and Sleep Physiology at the Trust, said: “To reduce footfall in the Out-Patients department at the hospital and help keep everyone safe we asked our patients for their thoughts and sent them a detailed questionnaire.

We listened to their feedback and  developed a Drive Up clinic.

“At a pre-arranged time the patient drives into a designated bay and a staff member goes out to the patient in appropriate PPE to loan the patient the equipment needed to monitor their sleep pattern overnight.

“The patient returns next day again using the parking bay.

“So far we have diagnosed eight patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and several are already on the appropriate treatment and we would not have been able to do that as effectively without changing the way we worked.

“The response has been great. Some people who were reluctant to come into the Hospital were very happy to drive up and be handed the sleep kit.

“Working this way helps keep both our staff and patients safe.’’

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