The sleep lab in the old RAH was decommissioned upon the move and a lab has not been re-created. This means that they are unable to perform the more sophisticated 'level 1' sleep studies that are required to assess complex sleep issues that arise in the subgroups of inpatients that the nRAH is designed to care for (stroke patients and spinal cord injury patients as two examples), and they are also unable to optimally care for a range of other patients including those with chronic respiratory failure requiring nocturnal non-invasive ventilation and narcolepsy. The AMA(SA) and SASMOA both support the reinstatement of the sleep lab on this basis.
An on-site sleep laboratory is also considered an essential pre-requisite for respiratory and sleep medicine training and therefore the RACP accreditation for sleep training is at risk of being rescinded. A loss of accreditation would cause major disruption to respiratory and sleep training in South Australia in the short-, medium- and long-term. There is only one other sleep training position in the State in SALHN which seems insufficient for a population of this size with an ever growing demand for sleep medicine care.
The space and finances required to re-instate a lab are both relatively insignificant. There are strong clinical and training risks to re-instate the sleep lab, which also has impacts on research output given that some trials require in-lab studies. The Sleep Health Foundation are hoping that enough signatories on this petition will help make a difference, in addition to other advocacy work that is being done.