Doncaster invited to Westminster for launch of national sleep manifesto

Staff from NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group and Doncaster Council attended the launch of ‘The Wake Up Call’ sleep manifesto at Westminster with specialist organisations for sleep disorders, The Sleep Charity and The Sleep Council, to champion better sleep for all.

On Wednesday 4 March, The Wake Up Call Sleep Manifesto was launched at an event in Westminster at the Houses of Parliament, attended by Emma Price, Head of Strategy and Delivery at NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Emma, who also works jointly with Doncaster Council, said:

‘It’s so important the government accepts and implements this manifesto and realises the impact of sleep deprivation on children and adults and produces a new policy to recognise the importance of sleep and help counter lack of sleep and the negative impact this has.

‘It was inspiring meeting so many professionals and MPs at the launch and it was an extremely positive event. Colleagues are really keen to learn more about what we do in Doncaster to support children and families who don’t get enough sleep, as we are one of the only CCG’s who fund this innovative work with the Sleep Charity. I’m in touch with several colleagues from the launch and it’s really raised the profile of the work we do in Doncaster.

‘Every year the CCG spends £35,000 on support for this work with the Sleep Charity, which delivers much more back to the economy of Doncaster than the investment itself’.

Two of the UK’s leading organisations who champion good sleep – The Sleep Council and The Sleep Charity – launched the Sleep Manifesto and called on the government to push sleep up the public health agenda. Both organisations want sleep to be a critical part of the Change4Life initiative and promoted as being just as important to good health as diet and exercise.

As part of the campaign, the two organisations also called on any individual, business or organisation concerned to promote good sleep among employees, students or the wider community, to pledge their support by signing up to their Charter for Sleep Equality*

High profile policy makers and influencers from the government, health organisations, mental well-being charities, trade unions and major businesses attended the Westminster launch. The launch included a series of keynote speakers, including Mark Rowland, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation and former Blue Peter Presenter, Zoe Salmon who spoke about the absolutely critical role of good sleep to good health.

The organisers of the event say action is urgently needed, because in terms of the effect on the economy alone, sleep deprivation is expected to cost the nation £47 billion by 2030. The ‘Wake Up Call’ Manifesto points to some 200,000 working days a year being lost in the UK because of insufficient sleep and highlights the £50 million spent by the National Health Service in England each year to ensure the one in three adults affected by insomnia gets a good night’s sleep.

The Manifesto makes three key calls for action:

  • greater understanding and recognition of the impact sleep issues have on individuals, families and societies
  • a right to support at the earliest possible stage for those with sleep issues
  • for high quality support – underpinned by government policy – to be made available for those with sleep issues

Lisa Artis of The Sleep Council said: “We believe this is the most significant call ever made on the government to take sleep seriously. In the same way that we have seen public health campaigns around the importance of diet and exercise, we believe the time has come for Westminster to act on promoting and supporting good sleep.

“Sleep is as vital to survival as food and water but is not yet taken as seriously. We believe if steps are taken to improve peoples’ sleep, we can make a transformational difference to the lives and well-being of the nation.”

Vicki Dawson of The Sleep Charity added: “We are also calling for improvements to the support on offer for those with sleep issues as the resources currently available are inadequate or non-existent.

“Lack of sleep has an enormous impact on the lives of people, their families and wider society. We believe it is therefore imperative for the government to produce a long-term strategy – with spending commitments – that will increase awareness on a wide scale about the importance of sleep.

“Every opportunity must be taken to build sleep education programmes within schools. Employers need to consider sleep issues as part of their staff’s well-being, shift workers need to be supported appropriately, and professionals who support those with sleep issues must receive appropriate training.

“It is essential that sleep is taken seriously to support the nation’s well-being and we call upon the government to ‘wake up’ to the importance of sleep and to champion better sleep health for everyone.”

The Sleep Manifesto sets out the need to recognise the impact of lack of sleep on physical and mental well-being and calls for a greater understanding on the importance of good quality of sleep for people of all ages. The Wake Up Call Manifesto includes makes the case for a new government strategy on sleep and states the importance for all sectors to appreciate the importance of sleep, including employers.

Staff from Doncaster were keen to network with colleagues and share the approach taken in the town which sees the NHS commission a sleep service from the Sleep Charity, to support children and families who are struggling with sleep issues.

Speakers at the event included:

  • Clive Betts MP, Sheffield South East
  • Tariq Shah, Chair of the Sleep Charity
  • Dr Neil Bindemann, Director of External Affairs, British Society of Lifestyle Medicine
  • Mark Rowland, CEO of Mental Health Foundation
  • Dr Michael Farquhar, Consultant in Children’s Sleep Medicine, Evelina Hospital
  • Heather Elphick, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and
  • Zoe Salmon, TV presenter/Media ambassador
TV presenter Zoe Salmon, speaking at the Westminster launch of the ‘Wake Up Call’ Sleep Manifesto


 Further details can be found below:     and on Twitter using  #WakeUpCall

The Sleep Charity is a national award-winning charity, set up to support children, young people and their families with sleep issues. It provides accredited training for professionals and families is actively involved in research projects and aims to raise the profile of the importance of sleep for young people. Download The Sleep Charter, key points and information from the manifesto.

The Sleep Council is an independent authority on sleep health and has been sharing tips and tools for restorative sleep, supporting research, moving sleep up the public health agenda and growing partnerships to amplify its impact for 25 years.

*To sign up to the Charter for Sleep Equality, email

Following the launch of the Sleep Manifesto on Wednesday the following press articles have referenced the ground-breaking work on sleep disorders and sleep deprivation taking place in Doncaster:

Sharp rise in hospital admissions for children with sleep disorders

Insomnia among children almost doubles in seven years


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