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Interview with Hugh Selsick

Interview with Hugh Selsick
Hugh Selsick - Consultant in Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine, University College London Hospitals


  • Can you tell me about yourself and your job role? 

 I am a consultant in Psychiatry and Sleep Medicine and lead consultant of the Insomnia and Behavioural Sleep Medicine Clinic at University College London Hospitals. We are the largest insomnia treatment service in the NHS and treat nightmares, restless legs, circadian rhythm disorders and sleep paralysis. Our work treatments involve the use of psychological and behavioural techniques as well as medications.

  • Can you tell me why you are speaking at Anaesthesia & Critical Care, what you will be speaking about and a sneak preview of your session? 

 We see many patients who first develop sleep problems during a hospital stay, particularly if they have spent time in ITU. Hospitals are not environments conducive to sleep and the negative impact on sleep can continue for many years after discharge. Protecting sleep should therefore be an important part of the hospital treatment and good management of sleep in this period has the potential to improve long term outcomes.

  • Why is this topic important to be speaking about?

Sleep is critical to good physical and mental health. Poor sleep leads to significant reductions in quality of life, safety, and productivity, increases health care utilization and costs the economy billions of pounds a year. Sleep specialists are few and far between and most patients with a sleep complaint never get to a sleep clinic. But because sleep affects other health conditions, and other health conditions impact on sleep, every health care professional will have conversations with their patients about sleep at some point. Unfortunately, teaching and training on sleep disorders is almost non-existent in most medical school and specialist training programs so any opportunity to talk about and raise awareness of sleep is valuable.

  • What are you looking forward to at Anaesthesia & Critical Care 2022?

 It is always refreshing to meet and hear from people who work in a different field. It reminds me how varied and interesting medicine can be.


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