About The Sleep Disorder Centre
The East Grinstead Sleep Disorder Centre is part of the world famous Queen Victoria Hospital. The Centre was established in 1992 and is a fully approved under the Care Quality Commission of the NHS for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of problems concerned with sleep and sleeping in both the NHS and private healthcare sectors.
History of the Sleep Disorder Centre
Sleep studies were first carried out at the Queen Victoria Hospital in 1992. Dr Peter Venn had developed an interest in obstructive sleep apnoea when he worked with Dr Laurie Loh at The National Hospital, Queen Square in London, between 1984–1987. Initally, there were no other staff, and Dr Venn studied the first handful of patients by night time clinical observation and the measurement of oxygen levels in blood using a pulse oximeter.
Over the decade of the 1990s, patients were referred with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea, but also other conditions such as narcolepsy and periodic limb movements during sleep. Treatment numbers rose, particularly using CPAP for OSA, and increasing expertise was gained by the three sleep technicians employed at that time.
By 2003, the service comprised three beds funded by the NHS, but located within the McIndoe Surgical Centre at the Queen Victoria Hospital. Staffing comprised a part time service manager, two co-ordinators, and three technicians. Eighteen patients were admitted per week, together with two medical and one technician outpatient clinic.
By now the service was too big to be sustained within the hospital and, in 2006, a decision was made to relocate to a suitable building close by. Nearly a year was spent finding suitable premises to lease, applying for a change from domestic to medical use with Mid Sussex District Council, and refurbishing the building for use as an inpatient and outpatient facility. A small brick built workshop in the back garden was converted for use as an administration facility and office.
The Sleep Disorder Centre at East Grinstead thus became the only NHS funded centre for sleep medicine to be located outside a standard NHS hospital site. With the move came the ability to expand, both in patient numbers, and in the range of disorders that it was possible to treat. The first patients were admitted to the new Centre in April 2007, and the facility quickly became a 'hit' with the patients, who found it comfortable, friendly, and conducive to sleep, and with easy car parking!
By 2012 the workload had once again outstripped the facilities which were no longer fit for purpose, and the centre re-located for the second time to its current premises in the Jubilee Building of the Queen Victoria Hospital. The current centre comprises 6 inpatient bedrooms, three outpatient clinic consultation rooms, a technical control room, technicians' outpatient clinic/office, administrative offices, and an outpatient reception/waiting area.
Three further consultants (a neurologist Dr Neil Munroe FRCP and two chest physicians, Dr Jonanthan Ratoff MBBS MRCP and Professor Adrian Williams FRCP) are now part of the team, together with three clinical psychotherapists. A further Neurologist (Dr Deidre O'Rourke will commence work in January 2016. Updated and 'state of the art' equipment (including full polysomnography and transcutaneous carbon dioxide monitoring) is available, enabling another increase in the range and number of patients that it is possible to treat.
Currently, there are more than 30 staff employed (some part time). Over 1,800 inpatients are admitted per annum, with close to 10,000 medical and technician outpatient episodes, clinics taking place every weekday. Over 7,500 patients are now treated with CPAP machines for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), a further 200 with Non-Invasive Ventilation (NIV), and many more for a range of other sleep disorders, including narcolepsy, limb movement disorders, parasomnias and insomnia.
In 2012 our team won the Chairman's Cup for Teamworking at the Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.