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license revoked -

Discussion in 'Driving and DVLA' started by alex200274, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. alex200274

    alex200274 Type 1 · Member

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    I recently was referred to see a diabetes consultant due to a referral made by my GP post a visit I had with regards to improving the control of my diabetes. The primary reason for the referral was due to a hypo I had at work for which I requested assistance from a work colleague. After that event I decided to purchase the Dexcom G5 and my main visit to the GP was to see if the NHS provided any type of funding for Continuous Glucose Monitoring systems (I was told a decision on funding could only be made with a referral to a consultant under secondary care).


    After I was referred to the see the consultant we discussed my hypo at work, why I had it, why I didn’t notice it etc. As I recounted my story I was asked what my sugars were at time and I said 2.5mmol (although to be honest I did not know as I did not test). After calling out 2.5mmol he explained that the DVLA states you need to be hypo aware above 3.0 mmol and as I said 2.5 mmol and did not manage the hypo then I was classed as hypo unware and I could no longer drive.


    His quick pace to reach this decision infuriated me I challenged his decision but I was told that patients often do this but it was his duty of care to revoke my license based on the incident I had just described. I explained with regards to this hypo - I was in a long business meeting and I was aware I was having a hypo but I had no sugar at hand so I thought I would wait it out (bad decision I know). After the business meeting my sugars had been low for probably about 30 minutes and I had to tell a work colleague that I was a diabetic and required some sugar so could they please buy me a sugary drink, despite recounting this I was still told I was unware of my hypos and should have known prior (my story lended itself towards being badly managed, although I think I was being transparent).


    I can’t believe I that primarily went in to see if there was funding available for my Dexcom G5 and I walk out 30 minutes later being told I can no longer drive!! I have been diabetic for 27 years and consider myself to be very well controlled. I can’t help but thinking the decision to take my license away was more to do with the fact I was referred under the banner of being hypo unware (which is not true) and perhaps to do with potential liability (for example say I got into a car accident and it was find out I had a visit under secondary care to see a diabetes consultant and nothing was done at the time).

    As I live somewhat remotely taking my license away is going to severely impact how I go about my life, including getting to work, taking my children to school, food shopping and so forth. You would think before revoking ones license questions would be asked about how one will cope and not done so casually without any further supporting evidence.

    Furthermore to make maters worse I was told I had to come back for a review in 3 months time and the condition on the future of my driving would be based on providing access to my Dexcom device through some sort of online account so they could monitor my control - funny that I walked in thinking the NHS might fund it and instead required to self fund it to act as supporting eveidience to drive again.
     
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  2. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'd be inclined to write to the DVLA saying that the consultant appears to have misunderstood what you told him and that you were entirely aware of the situation during the entire time of the hypo.
    Maybe infer that you sent someone to fetch you a drink as you were busy after the meeting, not incapacitated in any way but had work to do.
    Also - perhaps you should confess that you were simply guessing at the 2.5 as you were pressed to give a response but have not got definite proof of it not realizing that it would be taken as gospel and acted upon in such a draconian manner, when your reason for visiting him was not to discus the incident but the funding of equipment.
    I am, of course trusting that the situation was not more serious than you make out.
     
  3. alex200274

    alex200274 Type 1 · Member

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    Hi Resurgam

    Thanks for the response, I’m going to follow up with my GP to ask what exactly was said in his referral letter which made them arrive to their conclusion - the consultant appeared to have made his decision about revoking my license prior to my arrival.

    Maybe as a diabetic I have taken driving for granted but I think there should be more support when they make decisions such as this - for example I was told it would be against the law for me to drive home from the appointment ( I was not expecting that outcome so who collects my children from school, drives my car home, takes my kids to school the following day, you think there would be someone asking are you ok getting home and collecting your kids, do you have support in place?)

    Type 1 is not classed as disability for which you get some sort of living allowance but today I have realised the condition of being a type 1 diabetic can be completely changed by loosing your license - potentially impacting family life, well being and acces to work. As I said I have taken for granted the freedom of driving as a type 1 but if my experience is common on how they deliver this type of news to diabetics then there is a definite need to change their approach and assessment to reach such decisions.
     
  4. Elteli

    Elteli Type 1 · Newbie

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    Why has he lost his licence I have had type 2 diabetes for over 20 years I wrote to DVLA and they confirmed that it was ok to carry on driving but to let them know if there was any change I have now been put on insulin I informed them again and DVLA said no problem as long as I was aware of when I was getting a hypo at no time was my doctor contacted about my driving and I am 76
     
  5. alex200274

    alex200274 Type 1 · Member

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    That’s an interesting point raised and I have just done some further reading on the governments general information assessing fitness to drive. It states it’s the drivers legal duty to inform the DVLA when they have been instructed by a health care professional that they are no longer fit to drive, and a health care professional can only inform the DVLA on your behalf if they have your consent - unless the individual refused to notify.

    So in my case I’m legally obliged to inform the DVLA despite not agreeing with the decision. As suggested in a comment above I may contact the DVLA for further advice.

    Going back to my other point there needs to be better information advice and guidance in place for diabetics when news like this is delivered, the consultants delivery was pretty much a tick box excerise without concerns of the consequences. I was told when I left I was no longer allowed to drive land would be breaking the law if doing so, however I cannot believe it’s as black and white as this when diabetes can be somewhat subjective and not exactly one size fits all.
     
  6. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    The key here is:

    How many assisted hypos have you had in past 12 months?

    Please read the DVLA guidelines for nocturnal hypos too as I'm not sure nowadays what the situ is for these.

    You are also entitled to ask for a second opinion by a different consultant/hospital... I would be asking for that too.

    I have also been in an incident 7 years ago of almost losing my licence from a horrendous consultant in South Wales. The dsn got me in with another consultant and after 3 months of hell I kept my licence... but I fought like hell. My circumstances were slightly different but I did see a horrible consultant (it was my first appt at this particular hospital and was already arranged for day after my incident occuring). The consultant shouted and shouted at me saying I deserved to lise my lucence for a minimum of 12 months... I will never forget the abusive manner that he displayed to me. Never. He never listened at all.
    Thank goodness I saw a different consultant thanks to a fantastic dsn.

    You are entitled to a second opinion from a different hospital/consultant and In yoyr shoes I would be asking your GP to areange it urgently.

    Thinking of you.. xx
     
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  7. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Moderator
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    overall opinion from reading through --- you have been treated harshly.

    hopefully you keep written records ( daily logs ) that will show your diligence.

    I had an episode in 2001 where I had an assisted hypo( only 1 ) -- and My consultant was much more forgiving -- he advised me to not drive for 6-8 weeks and rebuild my hypo awareness by running higher , with out any report to DVLA
    I did this and have been trouble free since.

    all the best to you
    x
     
  8. alex200274

    alex200274 Type 1 · Member

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    No doubt similar threads probably already exist but I’m hoping my experience is not common amongst others - I really think a different approach needs to be taken with the assessment and delivery by a GP/consultant when revoking ones license.

    For example in my situation I challenged his decision and asked - your staying I’m not fit to drive in case I cause injuries to myself or others but what about everything else, why would it stop just behind the wheel? Why are there no other questions about my well being, managing my children etc. When I asked if I could still ride my bike to work and down a public road I was told yes, but then I said if there is a probablity whilst driving then why would that not be the same on my bike, for example I could have a supposed unaware by hypo fall off my bike and cause a serious accident to myself and others, his response was ‘there is no law preventing me from telling you that you cannot ride your bike, and I don’t make the law’.

    I guess this is where my issue lies, the delivery of his message was more about sticking to the text book, probably also reducing liability than actually having a concern for ones well being or root causes.

    I’m hoping not all diabetics get short changed like this but if this is the approach under secondary care then changes need to be made. Ironically I would say Diabetics are safer behind the wheel than a non diabetic as we are more self aware and risk adverse.
     
  9. petdell

    petdell Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately with diabetes comes a label. It's very easy for consultants to say if your well controlled you should never hypo. Cobb...s. The tighter you control the more likely you are to be in the 2s & 3s occasionally. They just can't except that. I am about to have my licence revoked because of ongoing eye problems. After 100 injections ,I'm now
    unable to read a number plate at 20 metres, 18 yes. Totally gutted. But the laws the law.
    I'm sure you'll get your license back, it's a case of jumping through needles hoops.
     
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