VERY IMPORTANT GUIDANCE
If, after a sleep test, you diagnose a patient with mild, moderate or severe OSA and NO EXCESSIVE SLEEPINESS then do NOT advise them to contact the DVLA.
If, after a sleep test, you diagnose a patient with moderate or severe OSA WITH EXCESSIVE SLEEPINESS then advise them to contact the DVLA.
If, after a sleep test, you diagnose a patient with mild OSA WITH EXCESSIVE SLEEPINESS which is still present after 3 months,then advise them to contact the DVLA.
The DVLA has no rules concerning compliance other than:
control of condition
The DVLA will need medical confirmation of the above and the driver must confirm review to be undertaken every three years the minimum for Group 1 car and motorcycle and annually for Group 2 bus and lorry.
There are no rules from the DVLA concerning level of AHI or hours on CPAP, only that medically the patient is clinically assessed to meet the above three conditions.
The British Thoracic Society (BTS) have published a revised Position Statement on Driving and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) 2018. All Clinical Staff should follow the advice provided by the BTS in this Position Statement, in conjunction with the revised DVLA Guidance published in March 2019 “Assessing fitness to drive – a guide for medical professionals March 2019”
The recent problems with DVLA seem to be stabilising. But for the time being SATA continues to advise that you do not advise patients who drive and you suspect to have sleep apnoea and have not been diagnosed through consultation and sleep test with an appropriate Sleep Clinic, to telephone, email or use the online medical reporting system to contact the DVLA, but to write and keep a copy. A mistake can easily lead to an unecessarily revoked licence
The much clearer explanation of the new rules published by the DVLA and updated in March 2019 and read in conjunction with the BTS Position Statement will lead to a much better understanding by patients and clinicians of their position as regards informing the DVLA.
We have been informed that you are now being frequently asked about flying and CPAP. SATA has up to date information on all the airlines flying from the UK, with a simple traffic light guide as follows:
Airlines in Green – allow CPAP used on seat power where available, otherwise batteries
Airlines in Yellow – specify battery use at all times (even when power is available)
Airlines in Red – No CPAP usage allowed, or no positive information on website
We also include the latest version of the General Medical Councils Guidance on Patient Confidentiality, both to inform patients and keep clinicians updated.
SATA was instrumental in lobbying for the provision of treatment for Sleep Apnoea resulting in its recommendation by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)
Please make your selection below:
Assessing Fitness to Drive – A Guide for Medical Professionals – March 2019
NICE (National Institute for Health & Care Excellence)