Misleading claims regarding benefits for snorers spread in the media - Sleep apnoe discussed on This Morning - DVLA announces change in the law to enablemore healthcare professionals to complete medical questionnaire - Help Graham Walters fight brain cancer - Sleeping Disorders Centre moves to online clinics - Try the Snore Centre Mobile App
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Snore Centre eNewsletter August 2022

Misleading claims regarding benefits for snorers spread in the media, but Sleep Apnoea sufferers could be eligible for PIP

It has recently been widely reported that people who snore could be entitled to £156 in benefits. This is misleading. The claim appears to have been published first by Kent Live, on 11 August, in a story headlined: “DWP £156 benefit could be available for people who snore.” 

It has since been republished by many of the paper’s sister publications owned by publisher Reach plc, including the Mirror, the ExpressChronicle LiveWales OnlineBirmingham LiveEssex Live and Aberdeen LiveVersions of the article have also been published by many other titles, both regionally and nationally

The claim that people could be entitled to benefits (in this case, Personal Independence Payments, or PIP) is based on the premise that snoring could be an indication of sleep apnoea. But there are also many other reasons someone might snore that have nothing to do with a more serious underlying condition. 

Eligibility for PIP doesn’t just depend on having a health condition, but how that health condition affects your everyday activities. A spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) told Full Fact that whether or not someone would be able to claim £156 a week if they snore “entirely depends on someone’s condition and how it affects their life”. 

The claim of £156 is also based on the upper limit for PIP. Therefore, someone would only be eligible for this amount of PIP for sleep apnoea if it severely affected their ability to do “daily living” tasks such as eating, drinking, washing, dressing, communicating and socialising, as well as their mobility. 

How many people claim benefits for sleep apnoea?

The Kent Live article states: “There are currently 2,217 people across the UK claiming support through Personal Independence Payment for sleep apnea and conditions of the upper respiratory tract.” 

These figures come from the DWP’s own statistics, which show how many people were claiming PIP as of April 2022, and break these numbers down into individual characteristics such as age band, local authority and “main disability”. The exact figure differs slightly depending on how a person uses the DWP’s statistics tool, in order to prevent individuals being identified via the data. 

Of these, only 1,305 were claiming with obstructive sleep apnoea as their main disability. More than 900 people included in Kent Live’s total actually had other, or as yet unknown, conditions affecting the upper respiratory tract. 

Continue reading...

Sleep apnoea discussed on This Morning in Ask Dr Ranj

DVLA announces change in the law to enable more healthcare professionals to complete medical questionnaires

From  20 July, the law has changed to enable healthcare professionals other than doctors to complete DVLA medical questionnaires following notification of a medical condition that may affect an individual’s driving, DVLA has announced

The change to the Road Traffic Act 1988 will now allow doctors to refer medical questionnaires to colleagues such as specialist nurses and opticians from other professional bodies. This change is a result of extensive work by DVLA including a public consultation where 82% of respondents were supportive of the change. This forms part of an approach by DVLA to speed up elements of the medical licencing process while reducing the burden on doctors to complete DVLA medical questionnaires

Specialist nurses and opticians are among the healthcare professionals now able to complete DVLA medical questionnaires, as part of an approach by DVLA to improve and speed up the medical licensing process. An amendment to the Road Traffic Act 1988  means a wider pool of registered healthcare professionals, other than doctors, can now be authorised to provide information where a driver has declared a medical condition.

By law, all drivers must meet the medical standards for fitness to drive. Often, other healthcare professionals such as nurses or opticians will be involved in patient care and this change in the law now allows these and others to complete DVLA medical forms following deferment by a doctor. DVLA will continue to send questionnaires to GMC doctors and consultants, and it will then be up to individual GP practices and hospital teams as to which healthcare professional in practice is best placed to complete the questionnaire.

Continue reading...

Help Graham Walters fight brain cancer

Spalding man and friend of the Snore Centre Graham Walters was diagnosed in January 2022 with an aggressive Brain Tumour. This cancerous disease, whilst rare is one of the biggest killers of children and adults under 40. It’s been a rough ride since January for Graham and his family, with a lot of hospital appointments. But Graham is not giving up and he is not a statistic - he has too much to live for, his wife Abigail and two children Thomas (11) and Hannah (13) and many many wonderful friends and family members.
Graham is accessing all options available on the NHS and he has already undergone 6 weeks of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. But the UK is a long way behind the US and other countries in the treatment of Brain Tumours. The newer and more promising treatments are not available on the NHS in the UK. Graham wants to access the Optune treatment of Tumour Treating Fields, which costs £17,500 per month on a self-funding basis. He also needs to pay for the costs of MRI scans, private second opinions, modifications, equipment (including an off road wheel chair to get him on the football side lines as coach) and potentially other life saving and life extending Chemotherapy and other treatments.
Given these eye watering costs, a gofundme page has been started to give Graham the best chance of beating this awful disease and enjoying the wonderful gift of life, watching his children grow up, working and running his football team! 

Make a donation on Graham's gofundmepage...

Check out the redesigned Sleeping Disorders Centre website 

Sleeping Disorders Centre moves to online clinics

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 attending hospitals and clinics in person has been difficult and potentially involves the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus. Therefore, the Sleeping Disorders Centre's services are now available  online for both NHS and private patients.

We are able to deliver the same high quality service either via telephone or online, organising all aspects of care remotely: including sleep studies, diagnosis, CPAP fitting, delivery, maintenance and long-term care.

This means that people suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea and other sleep-related and ENT conditions are still able to access first class care from Mr. Oko, Professor Dhillon and the rest of our clinical team. Our mission to raise awareness of the suffering caused by sleep apnoea, and enable those affected to live normal lives through fast diagnosis and effective treatment, is still continuing depite the challenges of the pandemic.

The Sleeping Disorders Centre's private clinic has moved from Harley Street to The London Digestive Centre, in partnership with HCA Healthcare. All appointments with Mr. Oko are taking place by phone or online, and in person appointments continuing with Prof. Dhillon.

Contact details

Private patients
The London Digestive Centre
41 Welbeck Street
Telephone: 020 3797 7248



Have You Tried Our Mobile App?


Keep up with all the latest news and research on sleep apnoea from the Sleeping Disorders Centre with this nifty free app. Here you can find all our social media channels (YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Blog) all in one place, right on your phone.

Be sure to let us know what you think of our app by leaving a review on iTunes or the Google Play Store. All your feedback is valuable to us.


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