The British Lung Foundation and Philips Respironics partner to raise awareness of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

March 29, 2011

Guildford, UK –UK charity, The British Lung Foundation and Philips Respironics, leader in sleep therapy solutions, have partnered to create a three year programme that aims to raise public awareness and improve diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).


In the UK it is estimated that over one million people may be suffering from OSA, with prevalence being higher in men and those that are overweight. To date only 10% of sufferers are aware of their condition and are being treated to alleviate their symptoms. Obstructive sleep apnoea is a disorder that is characterised by the airway collapsing (behind the tongue) during sleep, which stops breathing. This can result in snoring, laboured breathing, gasping and choking. The collapsing of the airway is followed by attempts to breathe leading to a fitful and restless night’s sleep. If untreated, it can contribute to the development of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes.


The three year partnership between Philips Respironics and The British Lung Foundation will begin with a research programme to uncover issues and opportunities to improve the awareness of OSA and diagnosis channels and treatment for patients.


The research will form the backbone of discussions of the advisory panel who will lobby the findings onto the health agendas throughout the UK.  This activity will be coupled with a communications programme where the latest educational materials about OSA will be developed for both healthcare providers and the public. The activity will culminate in pilot OSA testing events throughout the country.


Dame Helena Shovelton, Chief Executive, British Lung Foundation, said:

"Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) doesn't just affect your health; the interrupted sleep reduces your ability to work and leaves people at risk of accidents and in danger of falling asleep throughout the day.  Many thousands of people suffer from this condition yet few people are diagnosed.  The British Lung Foundation will be carrying out a range of activities over the next few years to raise awareness of OSA and the help that's on offer.  We will also be gathering information about the patient pathway to drive improvements. We're delighted to be working in this area of health as it has been an ambition of ours for some time"


“OSA can be easily and effectively treated using a simple Continuous Positive Airway Press (CPAP) device, which can greatly improve the health and well-being of patient’s lives. However, sleep disorders do not always get the recognition they deserve as a major public health issue.  In partnering with The British Lung Foundation, our aim is to show the serious side of sleep and help many undiagnosed suffers in the UK.” Comments Darren Umbers, Regional Director, Philips Respironics UK


Further information

For further information, please contact:

Laura Wilkinson

Philips UK

Tel: +44 (0)1483 298677



Hayley Richardson

British Lung Foundation

Tel: 0207 688 5565



About Royal Philips Electronics

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of “sense and simplicity”. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs 119,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 25.4 billion in 2010, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at



About the British Lung Foundation:

The British Lung Foundation is the only UK charity working for everyone affected by lung disease. The charity focuses its resources on providing support for people affected by lung disease today; and works in a variety of ways (including funding world-class research) to bring about positive change, to improve treatment, care and support for people affected by lung disease in the future.  It provides information via the website and telephone helpline 08458 50 50 20.