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The Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Forums

Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Talk about all aspects of sleep apnoea. Request help from others with the same problem, tell your story, exchange tips & techniques ..
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Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by dan » Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:54 am

The most up to date guidance can be found here. There was a major update to the wording on the 27th of June 2014.

https://www.gov.uk/obstructive-sleep-apnoea-and-driving

You must tell DVLA if you have obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome or obstructive sleep apnoea (also known as sleep apnoea) with symptoms that affect your ability to drive safely.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you don’t tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving. You may be prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident as a result.

Ask your doctor or consultant if you’re not sure how your condition affects your ability to drive safely.
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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Solly » Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:41 pm

I was diagnosed with OSA while having tests for another problem, the medics are either uncertain or deny that there is any connection between the two issues.

The medics seemed to pick up on the fact that I might nod off at lunchtime watching the TV news, at my age who doesn't, once in a while. :lol:

Never had any problem at all driving, nothing affecting my ability to drive in any way, but still my licence was taken away.

As I was waking in the early hours each morning it could be difficult to get my 4 hour treatment requirement every day, the so called nurse told me to falsify my data by laying awake to make the time up.

My whole experience has been a load of old **********.

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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Sleep2Snore » Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:15 pm

You know, I think there should be a period where you are allowed to drive until you have your review and the results be sent to DVLA.
Unless the consultant opinion is that you are not safe to drive.
But that is not the case and it might even encourage people to go to their doctor and get checked earlier.
It is not the driver that knows he has been diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea that worries me, it is the driver out there that either suspects he has it or doesn't even know about. It could launch a campaign to get tested if tired, save your driving licence.
But that will never happen unless someone lodges it with https://www.parliament.uk/get-involved/sign-a-petition/
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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Solly » Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:38 pm

I would suggest that since the Glasgow lorry driver incident a couple of years ago, though sleep apnoea was not mentioned his symptoms sounded similar, the DVLA and hospital so called experts have gone into full backside covering mode.
The very slightest suggestion of a problem and your licence is taken away.

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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:51 pm

Sleep Apnoea was the only thing they didn't mention, though he had a heart condition and suffered from blackouts.
I don't think he should have been driving a car let alone a lorry! How did he get through a medical? :?
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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:55 pm

Strange things medicals. My son went to one so he could drive a bus and was refused due to an eye defect.
He was told it was just under for driving a bus, but if it had been a medical for flying an aircraft with up to 500 people on board he would have passed :?
It does not affect his driving licence, but it stops him from getting a PSV. Crazy!
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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Guest » Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:08 pm

HELP ..... Please can anyone tell me how I resolve the following.... (Sorry if wrong place to post). DVLA were notified that I had mild sleep apnea and the hospital were astounded that they made the decision to revoke my licence. Their medical opinion is I'm fit to drive and as a nurse stated 'fitter than the consultant working 70+ hours a week'. Now here is where I'm going in circles and feeling life is about to take a huge nose dive. DVLA will not review their decision until they have in writing a letter from either consultant or gp that simply states my apnea is under control and I'm fit to drive. I've only ever seen a nurse practioner at the hospital which is over an hours drive from me (disadvantages of rural living). She states she is not qualified to write the letter and I would need to see consultant first . She has requested an appointment for me but as its not medical emergency the wait could be 8 months or even over a year. I have begged and pleaded with my gp surgery but their STRICT policy is that DVLA contact them requesting a letter or send them the standard form to be completed, they will not do a letter just on my request. The lovely admin worker at the surgery stated not even if I paid 2 grand for it!!! (Seriously sarcasm not helping!) Ive gone back to DVLA, even requested to speak with a manager, told them what my surgery have stated and requested they send a form. They won't do this stating the onus is on me to prove I'm fit and not on them as the form costs money. I've offered to pay for this but to no avail. Being mild apnea medical opinion has always been that I am fit to drive no one at any stage has ever told me otherwise. Please can someone tell me how I resolve this. I'm having to pay 70 a week for my daughter to get to school in a taxi which has now taken all my savings and blown the holiday of a lifetime I was hoping to have with my daughter later this year. But more urgently is that I'm now risking losing my home as I'm struggling to meet payments. There are only 2 buses a day with limited routes so having to use more taxis for basic things like shopping and the costs are spiralling. I've explained my situation but no one will budge in making the first move. It seems crazy that DVLA could make a 2 minute call to the sleep apnea clinic to resolve this but won't do it due to extra costs. Yet they spent well over 5 hours telling me there is nothing they can do - most of which is them calling me back so at their expense along with the extra time that keeps taking!!! This has been going on since November 2016, I've just spoke with the hospital again for the appointment and still no sign of that happening before August, although now on a cancellations list. Also spoke with DVLA again today, they have no empathy what so ever and are still not prepared to help. Called my gp surgery stating I'm now at risk of losing my home and owe utility companies please can they review the policy all to no avail. Please can someone point me in the right direction in getting my licence back this is not just breaking me financially but also now affecting my mental health. Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Guest » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:31 pm

Write to your MP and see if they can help?

Also, consider going private and pay for an appointment with a consultant.

I'm a member of Benenden, who charge a small monthly fee, they cover the cost of getting to see a consultant privately which can save a lot of waiting and unnecessary worry...

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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:26 pm

Your MP should do something about this, however, a lot depends on the MP.
All the links from DVLA take me eventually to THIS PAGE

I would download and print it, take it to your doctor, get them to fill it in and send it off to DVLA.

The other thing you can do is go private, but I don't know where you are in the countryside or the country?

As you have not seen a consultant it is difficult for the hospital to do something to help you.

A private consultation would get you out of a fix if they give you a machine after they diagnose you. But they have to see that you conform to treatment, so it will take a few weeks to conform to treatment. Also it is expensive.

At one time you could go to the Post Office to pick up all the forms, but sadly no longer.
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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Sleep2Snore » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:29 pm

They might still not renew your licence so have the MP on the go as well.

Failing that the only quickish option is to go private.

But watch who you go to there are some chancers about.
Stick with who has been recommended.
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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Guest » Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:23 am

Many thanks for everyone's response. I'm on CPAP and have been for quite a few months now and symptoms are under control. Not that they were ever a problem!

I've spoken with SATA who were an absolute wealth of knowledge and very, very helpful. They given me details of the head of the DVLA medical department along with various suggestive guideline quotes for me to be able to put together an email for appeal. Along with the suggestion of copying the MP into it as well. Along with everyone I have spoken with SATA were amazed this has happened but not surprised. There really are some horror stories out there!

Fingers crossed that i dont have to go down the road of expensive private doctors and once again many, many thanks for the responses. It helped just knowing someone was listening.

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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Solly » Fri May 12, 2017 4:31 pm

I strongly dispute my Apnoea diagnosis, but on the strength of a letter from someone who appears little better than a jumped up office boy, but is called a medical practioner, I lose my licence, and had I been working I would probably have lost my job as well.

If we are going to have more of this as I read in the paper today you can be reported to the DVLA for poor eyesight, there will have to be a formalised appeals procedure with independent official oversight.

As prior to the alleged diagnosis, I was sleeping well, never suffered the extreme fatigue described by many, and always had low Epworth test results, I would say the diagnosis stinks.

In desperation I did pay for a private consultation which turned out to be the waste of £175.

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Re: Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome & driving (DVLA Guidance)

Post by Sleep2Snore » Sat May 13, 2017 1:14 pm

In desperation I did pay for a private consultation which turned out to be the waste of £175
Why, did it turn out to have the same results?

If the Sleep Clinics had machines waiting for patients and reviewed their patients results the next day and sent them home with a machine the time between diagnoses and becoming compliant with treatment would only be a month at most if the patient really wanted it to work. No more than a bad illness. However, it could be just an advisory not to drive meanwhile with a big find if you do. There is no need to take away peoples licences for the people that need the treatment to work and make it happen.
As for bad eyesight, if you have glasses and it corrects you vision there is no problem.
There are a lot of other things that can stop you from driving, where there is a way to cure or treatment, you are allowed to drive again.
If you are one of the unlucky one, it is a bit tough, but then if someone that had bad eyesight ran into you and killed someone and turned round and said "Sorry, I didn't see you" you would not be best pleased would you?
Saying that, I know some old people that should have been off the road years ago. Then again, some young drivers after passing their test think they know it all, they are just starting to learn, should they be put off the road as well?
Norway and Sweden is the hardest on drivers, no drink at all, if you have medical problems you are lucky if you are allowed to drive.
You also have to be very aware of what tablets you take. I know someone that moved to another country to work because he is on tablets that do not allow him to drive in either country. They would not allow him to drive in any case because of what happened to him. However, it turned out to be a good move for him.
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