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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Time for Action

Monday, September 2, 2013

Meg Munn MP recently met David Dawson, a consultant anaesthetist working in Bradford, to discuss ways of encouraging drivers with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) to seek help and get prompt treatment so that they can continue to drive safely. Meg has campaigned on this issue for the last five years and continues to seek ways to raise awareness and improve rates of diagnosis and treatment.

OSA is a respiratory condition that causes people to stop breathing repeatedly while asleep. It affects up to 4% of middle-aged men and 2% of middle-aged women, although up to 80% of those who have OSA are still undiagnosed. Symptoms of OSA include excessive daytime sleepiness, poor memory, inability to concentrate and irritability.

Diagnosing and treating OSA is crucial as the condition increases the risk of serious and fatal road accidents. David told Meg that a project he undertook identified 19% of a group of truck drivers with OSA. However although OSA is a very real problem, when diagnosed and treated a high percentage of drivers are quickly back on the road and safe to drive. Meg and David both recognise that progress has been made in raising awareness, but there continues to be a stigma associated with the condition, and many businesses are unwilling to support their drivers through treatment.

David believes that one of the blocks to quicker treatment is the lack of a ‘tariff price’ in the NHS for OSA treatment. Meg suggested this was an idea they should explore further and which could then form the basis of a debate in Parliament.  A further meeting is planned to include a range of experts, as well as OSA sufferers, to discuss David’s ideas in greater depth.

Meg said:

“It was a pleasure to meet David and to hear how he has been trying to improve diagnosis and treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. I will be working to take forward David’s ideas to persuade the Government into accepting that this is a very real problem and to take some meaningful action.”

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