26th March 2007





Scientists in Lincoln have been awarded a grant to look into new ways of treating insomnia.


The University of Lincoln is working with other organisations, including the Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust, to find alternatives to drugs to manage insomnia.


In particular the researchers want to find non-pharmacological solutions for managing insomnia, which is a growing problem in the UK.


Thirty-two per cent of people in the United Kingdom report problems sleeping and every year more than £22m is spent on 10 million items of hypnotic drugs to treat the condition.


Now the Lincolnshire project has become one of nine healthcare projects across the country to be awarded around £400,000 to work with NHS primary care providers in Lincolnshire for the next three years.


Within three years the project aims to improve management of insomnia in primary care and to:



The project, which is led by the Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust, was one of nine to be awarded an Engaging with Quality in Primary Care Award from The Health Foundation.


The other successful schemes cover a range of healthcare issues, from back pain and mental health to domestic violence.


Project managers from the nine successful projects will be in Brighton tomorrow (Tuesday) and on Wednesday for the inaugural conference of the UK scheme.


”Everyone has difficulty sleeping at some point in their life but it most cases this is short term. However, around one in ten people suffer chronic insomnia, often caused by stress and worry but also by other conditions which in turn can lead to accidents, illness and work and relationship problems,” said Professor Niro Siriwardena, Foundation Professor of Primary Care at the University of Lincoln.


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Looking For New Ways To Treat Insomnia, contd


“This project aims to improve treatment for people with insomnia by promoting a range of treatment options beyond sleeping pills, which are not always the most appropriate course of action and which carry the risk of side effects and addiction.”


Wendy Buckley, Assistant Director of the Health Foundation, commented: “We’re delighted to be working with nine expert teams that we have selected from over 170 applicants. Because we’re focusing on primary care the projects hold real potential to bring about direct benefits for patients.”




Notes to editors:


The partners involved in the Lincolnshire project are: the Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust, the University of Lincoln, the University of Nottingham, the East Midlands Mental Health Research Network Hub, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Mental Health Trusts and the Trent Research and Development Support Unit.


The Engaging with Quality in Primary Care scheme builds on the successes of The Health Foundation’s Engaging with Quality Initiative focusing on secondary care which was launched in April 2005.,


For more information or to arrange an interview with Professor Siriwardena contact:


Jez Ashberry  

Shooting Star PR

01522 837294      




Jo Parish

The Health Foundation Press Office

020 7257 8017

07921 700 356