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Metro North and Central West partner to deliver new sleep testing service

Tuesday 17 August 2021

News_Metro North and Central West partner to deliver new sleep testing service

Tossing and turning all night long, can’t get a good night’s sleep and don’t know why?

Well, don’t worry because a good night’s sleep may not be too far away.

From 23 August, a diagnostic sleep testing service will be available in Longreach through a partnership between the Central West Hospital and Health Service and The Prince Charles Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Centre in Brisbane.

The Prince Charles Hospital is part of the Metro North Hospital and Health Service.

Central West Health Nurse Navigator Simone Thomason, who is overseeing the service locally, said Central West residents would be able to access the service at Longreach Primary Health

Clinical Rooms in the Iningai Arcade instead of going to Brisbane.

Here, trained Central West Health staff will be on hand to attach the monitoring equipment.

Patients can then immediately return home or to nearby accommodation to undergo their overnight sleep test, before returning their testing equipment the next morning for analysis.

A GP or medical officer referral will be required to access the service, but the cost is entirely covered by Queensland Health.

The Prince Charles Hospital Sleep Sciences Centre Director and Project Lead Dr Irene Szollosi said the new service would allow many patients to undergo diagnostic sleep testing closer to home.

“Currently, the Sleep Disorders Centre receives more than 2000 referrals annually,’’ Dr Szollosi said.

“About 20 per cent of these are from remote and regional areas, like the Central West, without local specialist sleep services.

“Patients from these areas who come to The Prince Charles Hospital for sleep testing have to spend a number of days away from home or work, which can be inconvenient and sometimes costly and also sometimes puts people off accessing the service.

“Our proposed model of care uses portable unattended polysomnography in the diagnosis of sleep apnoea, which allows patients to be attached to the testing equipment at a local facility, thereby eliminating the need for travel.

“Sleep Disorders Centre staff will provide expert training and support for local staff to perform testing, whilst the team at The Prince Charles Hospital will continue to perform data analysis, specialist reporting and consulting to help deliver streamlined and comprehensive care.

“This model will allow more patients to receive the right care in the right place at the right time.

“With the increased uptake of telehealth in the follow-up of our patients, and the ability for us to remotely monitor treatment effectiveness, high-quality care can be provided much closer to or directly in the home.

“It will also provide the Sleep Disorders Centre with increased capacity to treat more complex patients who require in-hospital testing.

“This model is similar to our partnership with Metro North’s Hospital in the Home (HITH) which now allows for diagnostic sleep testing in the home for our patients within Metro North in Brisbane.’’

Central West Health has developed many close links with Metro North Health over the years. The health service partners with Metro North to deliver a tele-chemotherapy service to the region which started in 2018, as well as a cardiac stress testing service that started in 2016 and was expanded to include holter monitoring. 24-hour blood pressure monitoring also will be added to the service later this year.

Central West Health also partnered with Metro North’s Strategy and Planning Unit to develop the Central West Hospital and Health Service Plan 2020- 2025 which was completed in May last year.

“Our partnership is an excellent example of a small rural health service working with a major metropolitan health service to improve and expand services to rural and remote communities,’’ Ms Thomason said



  • Central West Health Nurse Navigator Simone Thomason with some of the equipment that will be used to monitor a patient’s sleep cycles.

For further information contact:

James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379

Last updated: 17 August 2021