SleepA team from Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent healthcare charity, to be part of its new £1.5 million innovation programme, Innovating for Improvement.

The Innovating for Improvement programme is supporting seventeen projects in the UK with the aim of improving healthcare delivery and the way people manage their own healthcare by testing and developing innovative ideas and approaches and putting them into practice.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford are collaborating to trial an innovative sleep treatment, tailored for people admitted to an acute psychiatric ward. Empirical evidence shows that sleep disturbance is a contributory cause of poor mental health and low psychological wellbeing. Consequently, rates of sleep disturbance are extremely high in those admitted to hospital for an acute psychiatric episode.

The treatment offered as part of the trial is designed to address this clinical need. It will combine cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia with light therapy and sleep monitoring devices.

The effects of the intervention will be tested in a pilot randomised controlled trial, recruiting patients admitted to Vaughan Thomas ward, Warneford Hospital. Half of the participants will receive the intervention and half will continue with their usual care. By comparing assessment data of these two groups, the team will discover whether the intervention has had a significant impact on improving sleep and emotional wellbeing.

The team will be led by trust consultant Dr Alvaro Barrera. Dr Barrera said, “Vaughan Thomas ward are very excited to be running this study. We are committed to providing evidence for initiatives seeking to improve the quality of the care provided on our wards.” Libby Keck, programme manager from the Health Foundation said, “We are very excited to be working with such a high-calibre of teams, who all have great innovative ideas. As an organisation we are keen to support innovation at the frontline, therefore I am pleased that we will be able to support these ambitious teams to develop and test their innovative ideas over the next year.

“Our aim is to promote the effectiveness and real impact of the teams’ innovations and show how they have succeeded in improving the quality of health care, with the intention of these being widely adopted across the UK health service.” The programme will run for fifteen months and each project will receive up to £75,000 of funding to support the implementation and evaluation of the project.

You can read more about this on the Health Foundation website by clicking here.