NHS England CPAP Project

14th December 2023

We have been working on an exciting project in collaboration with NHS England to produce a range of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) resources for people with a learning difficulty or autism who suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.


Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) is a disorder in which a person has irregular breathing at night, characterised by repeated collapse of the upper airways during sleep, causing breathing to stop. The brain automatically reacts by waking the person up to restart breathing.


Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is often the treatment of choice for people who have been diagnosed as suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). This treatment works by preventing the air passage from narrowing or collapsing during sleep. CPAP equipment continuously and gently blows slightly pressurised air through a nasal mask into the air passage. This prevents the collapse of the airway during sleep. Once the air passage is held open by the use of CPAP, both breathing and sleep usually return to normal.


OSA and CPAP therapy can be common in people with a learning disability. Learning difficulties encompass a wide range of conditions that affect a person’s ability to acquire, process and retain information. People with a learning difficulty may require tailored approaches to various aspects of their lives, including healthcare.


Despite this, there was a lack of resources available for people with a learning difficulty or autism who require CPAP therapy. Working alongside NHS England, we produced video content, leaflets, booklets, and instruction guides to support people with using their equipment safely. We also created resources for carers and healthcare professionals to provide further support.


The resources created have been made in easy-read form to help people understand:


  • The importance of using CPAP as prescribed
  • The importance of telling the hospital sleep service promptly if there are any issues
  • How to use and maintain CPAP equipment and much more


We are thrilled with the outcome of this project and the positive difference that it will make to people’s lives.


To view the project in more detail, click here


If you would like to found out more about our CPAP and Sleep Diagnostic services, please contact our contact form available here.