NHS Western Isles Offers Free Access to Sleepio Online CBT App

NHS Western Isles Offers Free Access to Sleepio Online CBT App

By Support Team on 28/04/2020

Following article copied from NHS Western Isles site, original article can be viewed by clicking link above.

Provision of free access to Sleepio online CBT app for insomnia via NHS Western Isles' mPower community navigator service 

NHS Western Isles in partnership with Big Health Ltd. are pleased to offer access to the clinically tested insomnia App Sleepio for residents of the Outer Hebrides experiencing sleep difficulties or insomnia.  

The pilot is supported by Scottish Government Technology Enabled Care programme and begins today (27th April 2020) for a period of nine months initially.  NHS Western Isles appreciate that more people than ever are likely to be facing sleep difficulties at this time as they cope with the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.  It is hoped by providing online access to psychological support for sleep this will help while people face social restrictions during the ongoing pandemic.

The Sleepio service adds to range of existing online psychological support tools that may help people to cope with range of psychological stresses they may be having during the current pandemic.  These digital tools include iESO which people may access themselves via website or online CBT which is available via their GP.

Martin Malcolm, NHS Western Isles Head of Public Health Intelligence and Project Lead, said “NHS Western Isles has been working on a project to test access to online CBT for insomnia.  We realised how this could help people increasingly struggling with this problem in the current coronavirus pandemic particularly as they face restricted access to traditional psychological services.  As a result we have been able to quickly make the Sleepio online CBT programme available across the islands supported by our mPower Community Navigator service so avoiding need for people to visit their GP to gain access.”

What is Sleepio?
Sleepio is an online sleep improvement programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).  

Participants learn techniques and strategies to help improve sleeping patterns naturally, that may allow them to avoid the need for sleeping pills (any changes to medication would only be done in discussion with a patient's GP). 

Those taking part in Sleepio pilot will have access to the online app 24/7 over an initial period of six weeks while they complete the programme and thereafter for up to a year if they feel it is helpful.  The Sleepio app uses daily sleep diaries and weekly 20-30 minute tailored sleep guide sessions based on personalised sleep scores and CBT techniques. 

The aim of the Sleepio pilot is to see whether using the digital ‘Sleepio’ app can provide people with a tool that improves their sleeping patterns naturally while potentially also avoiding the need for sleeping pills.  Further information on the online Sleepio App is available at their website- https://go.bighealth.com/sleepio_nhs

How can people access the Sleepio programme?
To use the Sleepio app you must be over 18 and a resident in the Outer Hebrides.  You will also need a digital device (a tablet/PC or Laptop – a Smartphone is not suitable) with access to the internet. As part of the pilot project there may be support offered to those who do not have access to the required digital equipment. 

Those interested in using the Sleepio service can do so by getting in touch with their local mPower team by emailingwi-hb.mpower@nhs.net or telephoning (01851) 708022. 

The Community Navigator will then contact those who have expressed an interest at a convenient time to provide a code for accessing the online Sleepio service, and check they have the required digital device setup.  

They will also be able to give further information on Sleepio as well as offer wider mental wellbeing support and help participants progress through the online programme with follow-up calls.  The mPower service was set up to assist people with both accessing digital health support and wider support for managing their health conditions.  

For further information on the NHS Western Isles mPower service please visit: https://western-isles.mpowerhealth.eu/

Anyone experiencing sleep difficulties are asked to contact their local mPower Community Navigator if they wish to discuss using the Sleepio app, who will contact them by email or phone. 

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