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Hounslow Wheelchair Service: 

A sleep system

Supporting patients with complex disabilities at night

Hounslow wheelchair service has used charitable funds to develop an innovative new scheme to support Hounslow patients with complex disabilities at night. 

The service initially won  £30k funding to pilot the new ‘sleep system’ scheme as part of a local Dragons’ Den-style initiative to give clinicians the chance to pitch for funding for projects to improve patient care. 

The sleep systems, which the service is now piloting in the borough of Hounslow, enables patients with complex health needs to maintain good posture while sleeping – helping to prevent deformities from occurring and improving the patient’s health and quality of life. Each sleep system is tailored to the needs of the user - creating a moulded shape around the body to support the patient in a well aligned posture. 

Sarah Brown, the trust’s wheelchair service manager explains: “The aim of this project is to help our patients be more comfortable overnight so that they and their carers can achieve a more restful night’s sleep. Maintaining a good sleep position at night impacts on patient's health and improves their posture during the day. The introduction of these new sleep systems will positively influence patients’ body posture and make a huge difference to their health and wellbeing.” 

“We are currently trialling a limited number of these sleep systems to patients with complex disabilities in the borough of Hounslow – and following this initial pilot scheme, we hope to provide evidence that will support expansion of this service to benefit the local community.” 

The team were shortlisted for a prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Award for compassionate patient care, in recognition of the scheme andattended the HSJ Award national finals in October to deliver a presentation to a judging panel - made up of influential figures from the healthcare sector. 

Sarah adds: “As a team we are delighted to be shortlisted for the HSJ Awards and extremely proud to be given the opportunity to deliver a presentation about our innovative pilot project to the judging panel in October. We are also very much looking forwards to attending the prestigious HSJ Awards ceremony!” 

The HSJ Awards celebrate excellence, innovation and best practice within the healthcare sector and are the most renowned awards in the healthcare calendar. This year’s awards saw fierce competition with the HSJ receiving a record number of entries for each of the categories. Although the Hounslow Wheelchair Service was not announced as the overall winner at the high profile ceremony in November it was a great opportunity for the Trust to showcase the innovative services being provided by its staff.