People with the condition face disrupted sleep and obstructed breathing to the extent that they can briefly stop breathing entirely as their airways narrow during sleep.
Patients can be treated using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine which helps to keep their airways open during sleep.
The Sleep Service team provides treatment for 2,000 patients across the region and have set up the new service to give patients access to a new model of CPAP machines because they have been temporarily unable to attend appointments in person.
This will ensure their treatment is not disrupted and they feel supported throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Himanshu Singh, Respiratory Consultant at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, commended the trust as being one of the first in the country to implement the scheme.
“I am proud to say we were one of the first trusts in the country to implement this, performing virtual clinics to review the effectiveness of the CPAP therapy in treating a patient’s condition and also to be able to adapt to the crisis," he said.
"There is a remote monitoring facility built into the equipment, which means our patients no longer need to travel for appointments, but they have the comfort of knowing support is always available to them on the other end of the phone or via video consultation.
"We have been overwhelmed by the feedback we have had from the patients we have seen so far, and I want to thank my team for their innovative work in making the drive through service happen.”
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides specialist services to 1.5 million people across Lancashire and South Cumbria.
Currently, patients who use the older CPAP machines can visit the Chorley and South Ribble Hospital and can swap the machine for a new one without leaving their vehicle.
And the team follow up with patients over the telephone and via video chats to ensure they aren’t having any problems and their treatment is going well.
The service has been proven extremely popular with patients who would normally travel long distances to attend their hospital appointments.
Karen Partington, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is another amazing example of how our staff are adapting the way they work to ensure the high quality of care we provide for our patients continues, whatever the situation.
"It is wonderful to hear that our patients are so happy with the new CPAP machines, and my congratulations and thanks goes to the team for their dedication and hard work in setting up this innovative service.”
The team are now looking at utilising the drive through to collect diagnostic test equipment and set up new patients on the new CPAP machines, to ensure no patient is left behind with their assessment and treatment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.