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Dear all,

Sorry if I am posting this in wrong place..

I am a new member to this forum. I am 35 years old and I have been recently diagnosed moderate to severe OSA and since then I have been trying to find more information on this and how to deal with this. This brought to me to this great cite with wealth of information on this.

Just a little information about my situation. I have been having lot of problems with Sleep, snoring for a while and once, while I was away for a vacation in India, I saw an ENT Surgeon who recommended surgery as I have some problems in my nose or something. Recently mentioned this to my GP and he referred to me for sleep study. I took the machine for overnight study and 2 months after (yesterday), I got a letter from my consultant (whom I haven't seen yet), mentioning that my sleep study indicated features suggestive of a severe OSA. 

He mentioned that a respiratory technician will contact me in due course to organise the use of CPAP machine and he will (Consultant ENT Surgeon) will also give me an appointment to assess the situation to check anatomical contribution to this problem. 

He also mentioned that "It was not clear from your referral whether you have a significant degree to issues with sleepiness whilst driving but of course the diagnosis of this stage of severe OSA and daytime sleepiness does go with it concern regarding driving safety. In these circumstances, the DVLA need t be informed of the diagnosis and the management options so far that have been put into place. "

I am an occasional driver (only weekends for now) and I got my licenses  in last January after spending lot of money for classes and working really hard (I never used to like driving but now I kinda started enjoying it). I went for this study because of my concern over safety and I won't be driving now until my situation with DVLA is clear.

When I researched online, people tend to advice to contact DVLA once the treatment is started so that they are less likely to revoke the license. I am wondering whether I should wait till I receive my CPAP devise and/or my consultant appointment to inform DVLA? At the moment, I only finished my sleep study and I haven't seen by anyone to discuss this (except this letter).

Any advices are much appreciated..

Many Thanks,

George

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Hi George and welcome, When I was diagnosed with SA I was also worried that the DVLA would take my licence away so i voluntarily stopped driving after a while I felt that I had to inform them but was worried about losing my license. After checking on-line I was reassured that they only revoke licenses in very serious cases and if you're having treatment for the condition then yo

Hi Adam,

Many Thanks for your kind reply and reassurance. The letter from my consultant just asked to inform DVLA not stop driving (I did stop driving though until things are clear). I am thinking of waiting to start my CPAP treatment ti inform DVLA. I will probably ask their help to fill in the relevant parts of the form.

Thanks,

George

This is a bit of a minefield.

From DVLA Website "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."

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

There is a new guide out for Doctors which they must report to the DVLA.

AHI below 15 (Mild) Sleep Apnoea. CAR and Motorcycles: - Must NOT drive but need not report to DVLA. Driving may resume only after satisfactory symptom control.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AHI of 15-29 (Moderate) & 30+ (Severe) CAR and Motorcycles: - Must not drive and must notify the DVLA.This requirement also applies for a suspected diagnosis yet to be confirmed.

Subsequent licensing will require: Control of condition. Sleepiness improved.

Treatment adherence.

The DVLA will need medical confirmation of the above, and the driver must confirm

review to be undertaken every 3 years at the minimum.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Apnoea – moderate and severe Apnoeas without sleepiness:

 

AHI 15 to 29 (moderate) AHI 30 or more (severe) on the apnoea-hypopnoea

index or equivalent sleep study measure: -

AHI 30 or more (severe) on the apnoea-hypopnoea index or equivalent

sleep study measure.

Must not drive but need not notify the DVLA.

Driving may resume once associated symptoms such as poor concentration

have been brought under control.

Lorries and Buses are another minefield and need medicals and a more stringent conditions to be adhered to to keep your licence, but all MUST NOT DRIVE and report it to DVLA.

See here page 102 chaptor 8  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_dat...

But you can still drive, though your licence may be suspended for a while.

The other thing that you should be aware of is that you must inform your car insurance.

Many Thanks for these information.It is really helpful.

I stopped driving the moment I received the letter from consultant. I am still waiting for my CPAP appointment and consultant appointment. I will be taking my SLV1 form with me to get some help in filling the form. 

I hope it will come through soon, other wise I amy not be able to write anything about the management/treatment of the OSA in the SLV1 form.

Thanks, George

If you fill in the form as best you can with the clinic and doctors name the DVLA will contact the doctor anyway.

However, it would be quicker if you can get the doctor to fill it in there and then.  I have no idea if the doctor has to fill in a form from DVLA about you or not.

I didn't have to fill in a form, just sent my report from the sleep clinic at Pontefract hospital.

Hi Adam, That is good to know.

The only bit in the letter that ask me to inform DVLA is this

 "It was not clear from your referral whether you have a significant degree to issues with sleepiness whilst driving but of course the diagnosis of this stage of severe OSA and daytime sleepiness does go with it concern regarding driving safety. In these circumstances, the DVLA need t be informed of the diagnosis and the management options so far that have been put into place. "

I will call me consultant this week to enquire about CPAP appointment time frame. 

Thanks a lot for supporting us through advices. I always suspected that I have OSA but I have now mixed feeling after getting it confirmed.

Thanks,

George


Adam Humphreys said:

I didn't have to fill in a form, just sent my report from the sleep clinic at Pontefract hospital.



George said:

Hi Adam, That is good to know.

The only bit in the letter that ask me to inform DVLA is this

 "It was not clear from your referral whether you have a significant degree to issues with sleepiness whilst driving but of course the diagnosis of this stage of severe OSA and daytime sleepiness does go with it concern regarding driving safety. In these circumstances, the DVLA need t be informed of the diagnosis and the management options so far that have been put into place. "

I will call me consultant this week to enquire about CPAP appointment time frame. 

Thanks a lot for supporting us through advices. I always suspected that I have OSA but I have now mixed feeling after getting it confirmed.

Thanks,

George

It looks as if he left it up to you George.  If you have no daytime sleepiness you do not have to report it to the DVLA, however, should you have an accident they may throw the book at you.
There was a lorry driver got off with it years ago, when I say got off with it, he just escaped jail.  But these were very early days when people were not being told to report it to DVLA.  I think he used this as his defence, but the judge was not impressed.  It does say that if you have severe sleep apnoea you have to report it even if you have not got the diagnoses or feel tired.  Double talks itself, how can you report it if you have not got the diagnoses?  All I can say is go very carefully here!
I was told when I was first looked at shall we say, that a diagnoses had not been confirmed, at that time I was not feeling tired at all.  By the time I was diagnosed in Edinburgh I was tired, however I managed to drive down without any problems and I was west of Aberdeen.  As luck would have it I was tested the same night and given a machine.  The consultant said I would not need to tell them then as I was under treatment from that point on, however, he did say I had to make it work before he saw me again.  So I made it work, I had to as my job depended on me driving.  When I went back he said he would deal with the DVLA as at that time they were taking driving licences away and not giving them back.  The next time I saw him he said he was going to be part of the medical panel and he was going to enlighten them as to the affects of Sleep Apnoea.  This he duly did and this is why you now get your licence back after you show you are compliant.
Before that you had a big fight on your hands.  I am glad he dealt with the DVLA on my behalf.  I think he dealt with a few others at that time as well.  After he went to the DVLA board things became easier.  All you need is a letter saying you are compliant with treatment and that you do not suffer from excessive tiredness and you get your licence back, if it was suspended in the first place.  I have known then say "DO NOT DRIVE" then when you report to them that you are compliant with treatment they say you can drive again.  HGVs and PSVs are another story though, they are very strict with those types of licence.
However, there are some bus drivers back on the road with Sleep Apnoea, so all is not lost, but I am afraid if you fall into this category you will have it suspended for a while, so plan a holiday.  I don't think it is very fair that they suspend licences, it just makes people delay in seeking help and the inevitable accident happens.  Not always, but quite often.  If you think anyone shows symptoms of Sleep Apnoea, the sooner they get diagnosed the better, it is easier to treat and safer for all.
If someone goes private or does a home test they can be compliant in no time if they make it work, so by the time DVLA deal with your form you are already sending them the letter saying you are compliant.
I know most can't afford to go private, but a home test and buy your own machine is a quick way to get back on the road.  Trust me, it is well worth the £1000 for all the equipment you need.
I am sure Hope2Sleep do home tests and would be able to supply everything you would need if your living depends on driving.
I am sure Kath Hope will come in and confirm this or otherwise.

Dear Sleep2snore, 

Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate that.

I don't drive very often and not more than 30 minutes. I walk to work and only use car for weekend family driving. Since I just got my license, I am being very careful and gaining some confidence before going for long drive and to motorways. I also drive automatic. 

I don't think in these situations OSA is an issue (and I do not experience much day time sleepiness as well).

I know considering many people who depend on driving, I am bit lucky.

I was never a fan of driving (some accident history as passenger) and it took a while for me to overcome that fear with lot of lessons and effort. I wouldn't really want to loose the license because of OSA. 

However, as you said I do not want to take a chance and waiting for my treatment to start to report to DVLA to make my side clear. I also have some anatomical problem in my nose, a surgery might be a possibility. I will have more info when I see my consultant who is a ENT Surgeon. 

Its good to know DVLA is much more informed about this than before. Thanks to good docs who does their part for us.

Cheers,George

Hi George

Sorry I'm late to this discussion, but you are doing the right thing by not driving at the moment.  I too, on the advice of my consultant, never drove from the day I was given my diagnosis until I was on good therapy.  You can't be fined if you're not driving, so you won't be involved in an accident!  I would hang on until you see your consultant as he/she will advise you correctly.  Personally, I wouldn't inform DVLA until you're on good therapy, because you aren't breaking the laws if you're not driving.  That way, they won't ask you to send your licence in, but will liaise with your sleep clinic and then confirm you are ok to drive when they get this confirmation from the clinic.  Hope you get your appointment soon!

Yep, if you don't drive, you don't get into an accident.  Let the other half do any driving if there is any to be done.

If you don't drive you will not be stopped, so you won't get a find.  If you are not suffering from fatigue/tiredness when driving you are not breaking the law by not informing the DVLA.

   (inserts wink)

Dear Sleep2snore and Kath,

Many Thanks for your reassurances and advise. I will wait for my appointments and treatment to inform DVLA after consulting with my consultant. I got acknowledgement of referral, informing me an appointment within 26 weeks! I am hoping to get an appointment to  my CPAP very soon.

Thanks,

George

 

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