News

December edition of Sleep Matters Published

This will bring you up to date with all the most important news for our sleep apnoea world.

Pages 1 to 3: NETWORK PRIORITY SERVICE

This lead story explains all that is happening in the world that keep your CPAP functioning – the electricity supply. With the potential of winter power cuts, you can be quickly up to date with what  it does, what it doesn’t do and why it’s important

Pages 4 to 7:  SATAday 2021 – FULL REPORT

A report on October sleep apnoea patient conference, with summaries of the presentations

  1. To view the presentations click on this link

Page 8: FROM THE CHAIRMAN

Graham Hill updates you on our efforts to engage with GPs

Pages 9 & 10: THE NHS REVOLUTION – WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

With SATA involved as the Sleep Apnoea Patients’ Voice on several NHS Committees, we give a brief overview that is going on the make the NHS even more patient focussed and ensuring equality of care across the UK.

Page 11:  CAN I DRIVE WHILE MY LICENCE APPLICATION IS WITH THE DVLA?

This carries the excellent explanation by the DVLA on your position if you have been trying to renew your current driving licence and it has expired.

Page 12:  TALE END – DVLA TO CHANGE MEDICAL SIGNING RULES

In a bid to make the signing of the DVLA medical report forms more efficient, but, at the same time preserving the safeguards, the DVLA is proposing to change the law to allowing registered healthcare professionals, such as Sleep Specialist Nurses, based not only at Sleep Clinics but also at GP Practices to complete and sign them. At present only GMC Registered medical practitioners can do this and it causes delays.

Click Here to download the December edition of Sleep Matters

Click Here if you want to join the charity

November 2021 – Can I drive while my licence application is with the DVLA?

Section 88 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 may allow you to continue driving even though you do not hold a current driving licence. In practice, this will be when you have applied to the DVLA to renew your licence, but the licence expires (runs out) while we are processing the application.

To continue driving under Section 88, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Your doctor must have told you that you are fit to drive. If your doctor is unsure about how a medical condition affects driving, they should refer to ‘Assessing fitness to drive – a guide for medical professionals’ at gov.uk/dvla/fitnesstodrive
  • You have held a valid driving licence (see *below) and only drive vehicles you have applied for on your current application and were entitled to drive on your previous licence.
  • If you hold a Group 2 (bus or lorry) licence, your entitlement has not been suspended, revoked or refused by a traffic commissioner.
  • You meet any conditions that were specified on your previous licence that still apply. • DVLA has received your correct and complete application within the last 12 months.
  • Your last licence was not revoked or refused for medical reasons. • You are not currently disqualified from driving by a court.
  • You were not disqualified as a high risk offender on or after 1 June 2013 (a high risk offender is a driver convicted of a serious drink driving offence). * this licence can be a full GB licence, a GB provisional licence, a European Community licence, a Northern Ireland licence, a British external/British Forces licence or an exchangeable licence.

While the DVLA is completing medical investigations to decide whether a licence can be issued, we cannot tell you if Section 88 applies to you. You and your doctor are in the best position to consider the Section 88 criteria and to decide whether you should drive while you are waiting for a licence to be issued. Section 88 cover is valid until any of the following apply:

  • You receive your new driving licence, (as that will cover you to drive).
  • Your application is refused or licence revoked by DVLA. You will receive a letter from DVLA if this is the case.
  • Your application is more than a year old.
  • You have been disqualified from driving since your application was sent to the DVLA.

Here are some scenarios which may help explain how this law could apply to you.

I have a medical condition that I have already told the DVLA about. The DVLA gave me a licence when I first declared the condition and my condition has not changed. I have no other new medical conditions. Can I drive?
As soon as the DVLA receives your correct and complete application for a new licence and as long as you meet all the Section 88 criteria you may drive.

I have a new medical condition that I have told the DVLA about on my recent application. Can I drive?
As soon as the DVLA receives your correct and complete application for a new licence and as long as you meet all the Section 88 criteria, you may drive. It is important that you are satisfied that the medical condition you have declared on your application does not stop you from driving. If you are unsure, check with your doctor before you make a decision. You can also look up your condition in the ‘Assessing fitness to drive’ guide, which you can find at www.gov.uk/dvla/fitnesstodrive to see whether you meet the medical standards for driving. As this guide is intended for healthcare professionals, it can be complicated. Your doctor should be able to help you if necessary.

I have a medical condition that the DVLA already knows about, but it has changed/ developed since my last application. Can I drive?
As soon as the DVLA receives your correct and complete application for a new licence and as long as you meet all the Section 88 criteria you may drive. It is important that your medical condition, as it is today, would not bar you from driving. If you are unsure, you should check with your doctor before you make a decision to drive.

I voluntarily surrendered my licence and have now applied for a new one. Can I drive?
As soon as the DVLA receives your correct and complete application for a new licence and as long as you meet all the Section 88 criteria you may drive. If your medical condition meant you had to take a specified amount of time off driving to ensure the stability of your condition, you must still complete that time off driving before you drive under Section 88 of The RTA. If you are unsure please check the ‘Assessing fitness to drive’ guide, which can be found at www.gov.uk/dvla/fitnesstodrive or check with your doctor.

I am going abroad and I would like to drive while I am there. Am I covered for this?
Because the Section 88 provision is in UK legislation, it may not be accepted in other countries. We advise you to check with the relevant licensing authority before you travel.

My licence was revoked/refused for medical reasons. Can I drive?
No. You must wait for the DVLA to reissue you with a new driving licence before you can start driving again.

My last licence entitled me to drive lorries/ buses. It has expired and I am now only applying for a licence to drive a car. Can I drive? And if so, what can I drive?
You can check if you still have valid car and motorcycle entitlement online at www.gov.uk/ view-driving-licence. If your entitlement has expired, you can drive as soon as the DVLA receives your correct and complete application for a new licence as long as you meet the Section 88 criteria. You must only drive vehicles you have applied for on your current application and were entitled to drive on your previous licence. If you are unsure about whether you meet the medical criteria for driving, you can check your condition(s) in the ‘Assessing fitness to drive’ guide for healthcare professionals, which can be found at www.gov.uk/dvla/fitnesstodrive or ask your doctor for advice.

I drive a bus/lorry for a living and I have sent my application to the DVLA to renew my licence. I do not have any medical conditions. Can I drive?
As soon as the DVLA receives your correct and complete application for a new licence, as long as you meet the Section 88 criteria and providing your Group 2 (bus or lorry) licence has not been suspended, revoked or refused by a traffic commissioner you may drive.

I am over 70 years old and have sent my licence to the DVLA to renew my entitlement to drive. Can I carry on driving while my form is with you?
As soon as the DVLA receives your correct and complete application for a new licence and as long as you meet all the Section 88 criteria you may drive. If you are unsure about whether you meet the medical criteria for driving, you can check your condition(s) in the ‘Assessing fitness to drive’ guide for healthcare professionals, which can be found at www.gov.uk/dvla/fitnesstodrive or ask your doctor for advice. As this guide is intended for healthcare professionals, it can be complicated. Your doctor should be able to help you if necessary.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is your responsibility to make sure you meet the Section 88 criteria at all times while driving prior to receiving your licence.

Reprinted from INF188/6 published by the DVLA.

To download a copy click here ֎

August 2021 – New NICE Guideline NG202, Obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome and obesity hypoventilation syndrome in over 16s

This new guideline covers the diagnosis and management of obstructive sleep apnoea/hypopnoea syndrome (OSAHS), obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with OSAHS (COPD–OSAHS overlap syndrome) in people over 16. It aims to improve recognition, investigation and treatment of these related conditions.

Click on this link to view it: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng202

“NICE TA139, which as been in place since Mar 2008 has also been modified to allow for changes contained in NG202”
https://www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/TA139

May Edition of Sleep Matters Published For Public Access

This edition is packed full of news and comments about our sleep apnoea world:

1. Reporting Sleep Apnoea To The DVLA – Getting It Right First Time.

2. NICE. New Sleep Apnoea Guidelines – Draft For Consultation.

3. From The Chairman – SATA’s Activities With NICE

4. Travel Special

Back To The Skies

Taking CPAP Into The Wild

CPAP Batteries From CPAP Manufacturers

CPAP Batteries -Been There, Lugged That – Dr Tim Speaks

5. Spring Clean Your CPAP

6. Tale End – Sorting The Jargon

7. Sleep Apnoea Trust Details

Click Here to download the May newsletter

Click Here if you want to join the charity and get this news when it is published

Travelling With Your CPAP Following The COVID-19 Pandemic

Guidance as of 19th January 2021, third Pandemic Peak: Government advice changes rapidly, and up to date information should be sought

During the COVID pandemic Government advice should be strictly followed, and travel avoided or minimised to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, remembering that you can be infectious without having any symptoms. As rates of SARS-CoV-2 fall, travel between specific areas will be permitted again, but it is still necessary to take precautions.

The danger of using CPAP in a time of SARS-CoV-2, is that IF YOU PERSONALLY HAVE COVID-19, AND ARE USING YOUR CPAP, you can spread it to others in the vicinity. Remember, you may not know you have COVID-19 and be asymptomatic; you may even have had a recent negative test as tests are not 100% sensitive, and things can change day by day. The reason is that when you breathe out through your mask or nasal fitments a standard CPAP turns this into an aerosol that is perfect for distributing the COVID-19 virus throughout the space you are in.
There are presently no restrictions on CPAP carriage or use, however it would seem sensible not use your CPAP in a public space such as a train, plane or airport until community rates of this infection are low. Note that you can still use your CPAP in a hotel room with your usual household members, with whom you are already in close contact.

You should take your CPAP into hospital if you are admitted; the circuit may be modified with a different mask without a hole for the breath out, and a bacterial-viral filter for the air you breathe out.

IF YOU DON’T HAVE COVID-19, then CPAP is no more dangerous than any other equipment you own – a wipe-down to keep it clean is fine, added to your usual cleaning regime.

If you travel regularly or frequently in the UK, we highly recommend that you use the NHS Test and Trace App to identify the places you go to. You may have no symptoms but be carrying the virus anyway, and thus still be a danger to others; it’s essential to follow your movements if you are.
If you are travelling outside the UK, we advise you to consult www.gov.uk for the latest information on the COVID-19 situation. Many airlines/ flight routes require a negative SARS-CoV-2 test from a designated source within 48-72 hours of flight. Ask your airline when considering travel.

Events

This page provides news and information about the world of sleep, sleep apnoea events, Sleep Clinic support groups and associated sleep organisations.

Date: 4th Dec 2020
The British Sleep Society has announced a strategy to improve sleep health in the UK – full press release click here

To address pandemic-related, as well as other long-term challenges in relation to the nation’s sleep health, the British Sleep Society (BSS) has developed a new strategic plan with an overarching ambition to support and promote ‘Healthy Sleep for All’. The Society is calling for access to the best clinical care across the nation for those suffering from sleep disorders, for standardisation in education and clinical practice, and for improved research capacities.

The full strategic plan can be accessed here: https://www.sleepsociety.org.uk/bss-strategy/

SATADAY 2021 WILL TAKE PLACE ON THE 23RD OCT 2021 – A VIRTUAL EVENT ON ZOOM

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