CPAP Documentation

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Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 10:11 am

Our customers frequently ask why they need to provide documentation before purchasing a CPAP device from us. Here we will explain why we request documentation and what it is.

What is CPAP?

A CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is the most common and effective way of treating Sleep Apnoea. The device works by opening the airways to prevent Apnoea events (breathing pauses). 

Can I buy a CPAP machine?

Can I buy a CPAP machine is a common question that many people with sleep apnea ask.

Once we receive documentation, you are eligible to purchase a CPAP machine from us.

Why do we need CPAP documentation?

CPAP machines are medical equipment and can only be provided to a customer once valid documentation has been provided. Why? 

We are part of the ARTP (Association for Respiratory Technology & Physiology) and BSS (British Sleep Society) professional bodies, and we follow the standards of care that they set.

Intus were the UK’s first CPAP retailer, pioneering online sales nearly 20 years ago. Our priority then, as it is today, is ways to help improve people’s health and sleep quality. We can only do that by having evidence that using CPAP is both safe and beneficial for the customer. So from the start, we have had a clear policy of making sure that we have evidence from a medical professional that CPAP is suitable for any customer looking to purchase a CPAP machine. It ensures no customer is wasting their money – or risking their health – buying an unsuitable machine.

However, in more recent years, other companies popped up that were providing CPAP machines without any such verification. They led to many people spending a small fortune on CPAP equipment that proved to have no benefit to them – and in some cases, causing harm.

It became so widespread that it led to the ARTP drawing up their “Standards of Care for Sleep Apnoea Service (Treatment)” to help prevent people from finding themselves in this situation. It is intended to set a minimum standard that all CPAP retailers should meet. In this set of guidelines they state clearly:

Companies should not supply CPAP devices or accessories to the general public unless a clinical sleep specialist has reviewed the clinical data including a sleep study and a full face to face clinical review of the patient and approved the prescription.

The sale of CPAP devices direct to patients or retail vendors without written confirmation from a specialist practitioner operating from a recognised sleep centre, whether within the NHS or independent healthcare sector, is not in the best interests of patient care. CPAP devices should not be supplied in the UK without a written ‘prescription’.

You can find the guidance in full here.

It is important to state that we do not ask for documentation to be difficult but to make sure that the equipment being purchased is safe, appropriate and beneficial for you. Our priority is to help people improve their sleep and provide outstanding levels of care and service. By following these guidelines, you know that if you are purchasing a CPAP machine from us that the device itself, and the service we provide, will always meet or exceed the standard set out by the ARTP. And crucially, that it will be safe and beneficial for you to use. If we cannot verify this, then we cannot provide a CPAP machine to that person. It is as simple as that.

Ultimately, some companies still disregard the ARTP’s guidelines. They’re not legally enforceable, so it’s within their right not to follow them. But the question in that instance is clear – why do they choose to provide CPAP equipment without verifying that it is suitable for the person paying them several hundred pounds for it? You can likely answer that yourself.

It is important to remember we do not ask for documentation when purchasing anything other than a CPAP machine. Such as CPAP masks, CPAP humidifiers and CPAP tubing – You can find all of our products here.

What is CPAP documentation?

To purchase a CPAP device from us, you must provide documentation that is less than three years old.

This is to ensure that your prescription/documentation is correct and up-to-date. For example, weight or lifestyle changes can affect your Sleep Apnoea.

Documentation can be as follows:

  • A prescription from your doctor stating that you suffer from Sleep Apnoea and require a CPAP machine.
  • A basic letter from your doctor addressing your CPAP requirements. 
  • Sleep test results letter that states you have Sleep Apnoea and require CPAP therapy.

Please note – We accept overseas documentation as we can translate these.

You can purchase a CPAP device on behalf of someone else, but we will still require documentation to ensure the machine is suitable for the user.

Once you have placed an order with us, you will automatically receive an email asking for documentation – simply send us a copy by email. 

If you cannot email us your documentation, we accept physical copies that you can post to us – if possible, please avoid sending originals.

Posting copies of your documentation by post can delay the despatch process, so it is always beneficial to ask a household member, friend or neighbour to help email us your documentation if possible.

If you are an existing CPAP user struggling to obtain documentation, contact us for more help. 

How do you get CPAP documentation?

Beginning CPAP therapy starts by recognising your symptoms and contacting your doctor. Consulting with your GP can make gaining documentation easier. Or you can conduct a private, In-Home Sleep Test – more details of this option are just below.

Here are some Sleep Apnoea symptoms:

  • Morning headaches
  • Breathing pauses during sleep
  • Waking up choking or gasping for air during Sleep
  • Mood swings
  • Severe or frequent snoring
  • Broken Sleep 
  • Lack of interest in sex
  • Frequent urination during the night
  • High blood pressure 
Detailed In-Home Sleep Test
WatchPAT In-Home Sleep Test

Diagnoses: NHS Sleep study or In-Home Sleep Test

If your doctor thinks you may have Sleep Apnoea, they will refer you to the sleep clinic, where you will need to take a sleep study.

A sleep study is an overnight clinical test that measures different factors such as your oxygen levels, breathing rate and muscle activity. 

Unfortunately, people can wait far too long for the NHS sleep clinic. 

An alternative is taking an In-home Sleep Test; this is a quick and effective way to know if you have Sleep Apnoea.

Our In-Home Sleep Tests monitor your blood oxygen levels, body position, heart rate, snoring intensity and Peripheral Arterial Tone for one night.

Your data is reviewed by an NHS-trained sleep technician.

You receive your results letter within two weeks of ordering your test. 

Intus In-Home Sleep Test customers 

For those who take an In-Home Sleep Test, your results letter will state whether or not your result allows you to purchase a CPAP machine. 

We can help you decide what CPAP equipment is best for you and what to do about your Sleep Apnoea.

If you’re unsure if your results are suitable for documentation, please contact us for some guidance.

CPAP device returns

Due to hygiene purposes, CPAP machines are non-returnable, and we do not offer try and buy or loan services as a result.

Machines are only to be returned if faulty under warranty.

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us