Those living in the south of England are to be given access to a digital treatment for insomnia.

The Sleepio app, which has been part of the NHS Innovation Accelerator programme since 2015, will be rolled out initially in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire later this month, before being introduced in other areas in the South East in early 2019.

Sleepio is a cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) based programme which can be accessed via smartphone or web.

It works by helping people to resolve their persistent sleep problems by discovering their ideal personal sleep pattern.

The South East NHS roll-out is designed to find the best ways of helping people to access digital medicine through partnering with stakeholders such as GPs, pharmacies, libraries and local employers.

It will develop a blueprint for wider uptake of digital medicine across the NHS in England in a bid to improve sleep health, whilst reducing the current over-reliance on medication, which is used to treat the estimated 20% of working adults that suffer from chronic sleeplessness.

Dr Michael Mulholland, Buckinghamshire GP and clinical lead for the initial Oxford roll-out, said: “In my role as a GP I see the impact of insomnia on people’s lives everyday.

“Sleepio offers a real opportunity to transform lives for the better and to reduce reliance on sleeping tablets. This collaboration will explore the potential of digital innovations to improve people’s lives.”