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I suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage on the 18th March 2013. No known cause was found for my haemorrhage and I know from the DVLA medical guidance I can return to driving when I feel well enough. I sent my medical form to DVLA on 2 May 2013 and DVLA wrote to my consultant on 18 May 2013. My consultant has still not filled in the form and returned it to DVLA. I am expected to return to work next week and my 10-15 min car journey will turn into a 40 min bus journey. Surely it is better for my health to be able to return to driving sooner rather than later.

I feel well enough to drive but I am currenlty very tearful because my independance has been taken away from me and the thought of returning to work without being able to drive is upsetting me more than anything else. I keep calling my consultant's secretary who says she will chase him up but the form is still sitting on his desk. I just want to get my life back but it is so difficult without being able to drive.

I am very upset

Tracey

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Tracey I know how upset you are but the wheels of the dvla grind very slow. In the end it was my gp's view that the DVLA wanted (the neuro had to write to her & they eye clinic had to write to her too) & they never did contact the neuro directly (every case is different tho).

 

One thing I could suggest is for you to speak to PALS if your surgeon has had the form for weeks without completing it. than that there isn't much else you can do. It may also take the DVLA some time to process the form when they get it so a response won't be immediate sadly

 

I was told I was ok to drive until I was told otherwise, I erred on the side of caution & did not drive until I was give the official all clear. I do know how upsetting & frustrating it is for you but the rules are there for a reason.

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I'm with you all the way Tracey, exactly the same thing is happening to me except mine has been going on since the middle of March! I thought DVLA would be the ones to hold things up, but no it's the Consultants. My form seems to have been passed from one to another, and like you, every two weeks I ring a secretary to be told it's been sent to someone else now, or waiting for another form and I have to start all over again - driving me mad (no pun intended!!).

 

The most annoying thing about it being there is nothing you can do, all control has been taken away from us. So being the control freak that I am, I now tell myself to deep breath before ringing them and think what will be will be - it is however, really good to have a moan off!! Anyone else had this probelm?

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There's a great thread on driving on here worth reading and sorry to say your experiences aren't uncommon.

My delay was also with my consultant. The way I expedited it was that my neuro nurse said if dvla faxed to him he would place it in hands of registrar to complete. And that's what happened. It still took a few weeks from arranging that but after waiting so long to get my license back I was ok with that. good luck.

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Hi Tracy

I too have been through an epic battle with DVLA (my consultant actually replied to them fairly quickly but the forms take forever for DVLA to process). They informed last year that it takes 6 weeks for them to acknowledge that they received a form :roll: I know this is not what you want to hear but it's sometimes better to be forewarned. I had several melt downs over the process & I do understand how upsetting & frustrating it is to lose your independence in this way.

 

On a more positive note, there is something called Access to Work which helps with the cost of taxi fares to work when you are not allowed to drive for medical reasons. Perhaps this would be better than the long bus trip? If you ask at your local benefits office, they should be able to tell you more about it. Good luck!

Michelle x

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Thank you all for your replies and good advice. I now know I am not alone. Since my original post I received a letter from DVLA advising they have sent a reminder to my consultant. I will call his secretary again tomorrow to find out if there has been any progress. Once again, thank you all for responding at a time when I just needed someone to listen :-)

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Tracey, please make an appointment with your GP asap. If your GP deems you fit to drive - you can drive. End of. Inform the DVLA of your Doc.s decision and that's it.

Best of luck.

Jimmy

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OK, DVLA have finally received a reply from my consultant and it's now down to DVLA to make a decision. The DVLA have now told me if I don't hear anything in 4 weeks to call them back. Hoping it won't take that long.

 

JimmyC, I am reluctant to drive until I have DVLA approval as I will have to tell my car insurance company I am driving without it. My guess is they are likely to tell me I am either not insured or they will add an extra premium because I am driving without DVLA approval.

 

If the insurance company then decides to add an extra premium I can then argue that it is DVLA who decide if I am safe to drive and not the insurance company. I already pay enough in car insurance :-(

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Telrick you are right you do need to inform your insurance once you are allowed to drive again after DVLA approval but they are not allowed to increase your premium as a result. In fact my ins co told me they didn't even keep a record of my call to them & that if the DVLA said you were ok to drive that is good enough for them.

 

Although my licence was never suspended & I was told over the phone I could continue to drive I still didn't until I got approval. It was 4.5 months for me without driving & I had a couple of refresher lessons with an instructor to make sure I was safe (for me I have only single vision after a third nerve palsy).

Fingers crossed you get the letter soon xxx

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Tracey, Gill is correct re: insurance premium.

You could try giving the DVLA a ring in a fortnight rather than 4 weeks time if you're desperate, as sometimes a decision is made before the 4 weeks - mine was, so it might be worth giving it a try. I was told I was okay to drive over the phone and a letter arrived in the post to confirm.

Good luck!

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Isn't it strange how differently the DVLA review & respond to each case??! I only have single vision after losing the sight in my right eye during coiling. When I informed the DVLA, the sent me a letter very quickly to say I can continue to drive until they make the decision!! I didn't drive for a few months after my SAH because I didn't feel ready, and then only did very short journeys (5 minutes) with another adult in the car until I was confident enough.

 

I didn't realise how much concentration it actually takes to drive! Was exhausted after first few outings!! Had someone with me when I did a long journey as well to give option to stop if it was too much for me & didn't drive in the dark for about a year after the SAH (night vision was bad enough before loss of sight in right eye mind!! :lol:).

 

I eventually received a letter from the DVLA saying I would have short term medical license (reviewed every 3 years), followed by one a few days later saying sorry for they mistake, actually no restrictions just do the usual picture change every 10 years.
Each person feels differently, but you'll know when you're ready to drive again. Just take it slowly,

Hope you find out soon,
Take care
Juliette xx

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Well almost 3 months to the day from when I sent the first notification of my haemorrhage to DVLA they have finally advised I satisfy the medical standards for safe driving. Now my car battery is flat so just need to get that fixed and I'll be sorted. Can't wait to get my life back. Thank you all for your support during this difficult and very long wait :-D

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Hey there

Greatest feeling in the world getting your licence back isn't it - I cried more then than when I got the all clear lol

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I had the same story and then a huge delay from DVLA when they did have the report for no apparent reason. I admit that in the end I wrote to my MP with all the information, who in turn got on to DVLA. Lo and behold I had a letter from DVLA within 2 days of the MP's contact with them, saying that I was ok to drive.

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I have a very similar story. DVLA have now had the information they need from my consultant for over 20 weeks and they keep saying my "case is waiting to be seen by our medical advisors, the reason for the delay is due to the high volumes of work within our medical section."

They also say my GP can certify me fit to drive, but she's reluctant to do so as she hasn't received any detail on my case from the consultant. I've contacted the consultant to ask him to send the information on, but no joy so far.

I've also enlisted the help of my MP, but no progress to report so far.

My SAH was WFNS 1 and was treated by coiling in July 2013.

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I had a very quick response from the DVLA however it was negative.

 

I was surprised that they decided this and I am contesting it because I had a perimesenphalic (non aneurism) SAH and have been very very very fortunate with regards to post discharge symptoms i.e. nothing apart from sleeping a bit during the day.

 

I felt they made the decision despite my actual condition based on possibly erroneous information in the discharge document (suggesting I had an internal shunt put in when I didn't) but according to their write up it could also be because I had a drain.

 

I have written to the address suggested and look forward to a prompt resolution as long as there are some humans involved in the process that can look at the actual facts rather than processes engraved in stone.

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Julian, my understanding is if anyone had to have a EVD( extra ventricular drain) placed, as I did or a fit etc , then that it is automatically 6 months clear from that point in the UK before you can legally be cleared to drive which means insurance is void if you ignored, that is really clear in DVLA advice and mainly because of the brain surgery element.

 

This much I know because then my 6 months then got pushed out again after my shunt was placed with another surgery and it was I over a year before I got my licence back. If you haven't had surgery of any kind then I would imagine you have cause to push back with your GP support.

 

I shared the link to the best guidance I found on this when I was going through this and the thread is here. http://web.behindthegray.net/index.php?/topic/2166-dvladriving-advice-needed/?p=33418

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Hi everyone, almost 9 months post incident and surgery (NASAH with extra ventricular drain) and still no licence.  The 6 months came and went with just a letter from the DVLA saying they might take another 6 weeks to resolve.  Those 6 weeks have passed and nothing yet.  Frustratingly the DVLA do not use electronic mail.

 

It seems they consider something as difficult as secure correspondence by electronic means as being beyond their ability.  Strange when you consider their sleek ability to process online payments for road tax and countrywide number plate scanning with OCR and database querying for late form fillers and payers.

 

 

I am miffed to say the least with the DVLA way of carrying out this process and that they have deprived me of driving beyond the statutory amount for no valid reason and thus sharing some of the load that my wife has had to bear.

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Hi Julian

 

Reading your posts with great interest. I too had a NASAH with EVD and had my licence revoked. I believe it will be for just 6 months and that is from the date the EVD was removed - 17 Feb in my case. On the advice of the SAH Nurse Specialist at the Wessex Neuro I reapplied for my licence at the end of May, 3 months before due back, as she  said it can take a long time and not to wait until 2 months before which is DVLAs advice.

 

Hoping I will clear to drive again by the end of August, however I have no car now as I gave it to my daughter when I had the bleed! However I will be able to drive my husbands. I have quite got used to riding my bike now and enjoy it, also I have my free bus pass so I am not going to stress. I am lucky that my work is fairly close by and appreciate is must be very frustrating for those who have to travel a long way.

 

Keep us posted on your battle, I will be interested to hear why after 6 months they have not re-instated your licence, seems unfair to me.

 

Clare xx

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Julian, so sorry you are experiencing the DVLA quagmire. Just keep plugging away at them and I'm sure you will get your license back.

Your wife won't mind the extra time to support with driving and the space it has given you in your recovery , my husband didn't but I agree that it is frustrating personally and ridiculous the way they administrate it, it's unfair also compared to how they process other elements of their business. I signed a petition recently in change.org trying to get it changed.

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Julian I share your pain on this one.

 

Just to add my tuppence worth to the discussion. I asked the DVLA to send a questionnaire to the hospital as my nuero specialist nurse said it was ridiculous I couldn't drive. Not quite as straight forward as that, first a letter from my GP to the DVLA, then a questionnaire for me to fill in and then, and only then did they send the consultant the questionnaire.

 

I spoke with the hospital last week, and know that the DVLA have had the questionnaire back for about 2 weeks now. I'm not expecting a quick response, especially as the DVLA are in the process of moving from the two part licence to the card only. 

 

One thing to my great annoyance was that when I questioned the DVLA why my licence was suspended from a date that had no clinical relevance for me, I was informed that my licence was suspended from the date my case was processed and they weren't able to back date it!!!!!! I was livid!

 

My EVD was removed early Feb '15, I got home mid Feb., and I didn't get around that promptly to informing the DVLA, I wasn't driving anyway, didn't see an issue, but from my experience it's important to do it ASAP.

 

I am watching for the postman every day......

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Good luck Greg,

 

Never give up and when you get it back I'll say (Holds hands to head pretending she is a medium/Large lol)

 

You must give them 1 more call and say "as you told me it couldn't be back dated and you lost my last request"

 

Now I think it will be with you on Monday  xx lol  or Friday !!  xx

 

Good Luck

 

Win xxx

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Dear All, Just thought I would post an update as I know the DVLA is a topic that gives many of us a lot of frustration. I have just got my licence back a coupe of weeks ago (whoopee!) and that was after being invited to reapply at the start of March this year. The wheels grind very slowly at the DVLA.

 

A couple of things I thought I would share that may be a common theme or may just have been my experience. Once all my reports, the doctors, the consultants, had been sent through to the DVLA they did not mark my case for review till I chased them to see what was happening. This wasted approximately 5 weeks.

 

My advice is chase them once you are fairly sure they have received all the information they have requested (I was in contact with both my GP and consultants PA so knew when documents had been sent through). It then got to 12-13 weeks after my case was marked for review and still nothing and no estimate from them as to when it would be reviewed.

 

At this point i was 9-10 months post my SAH...... I then decided to write a formal complaint submitted through the DVLA website and within 7 days of that going in, I received my licence is the post. It may just be coincidence as they couldn't sit on it for ever, but I think the lesson, is pester, pester, pester.

 

Good luck to anyone else re-applying for their licence

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That gives me hope Greg, I must be a few weeks behind you in the DVLA queue. Just a bit worried with Christmas coming up that there may be a bit more of a delay. I know they have all the documents they need but every time I ring they just tell me I have to wait.

 

Will be more of a problem for me in a couple of weeks when my daughter leaves the UK, no lifts! I have emailed via the website but got the same reply as I get on the phone!

 

Keeping my fingers crossed, seems so long since I've driven may have forgotten how to!

 

Clare xx

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Very useful to know Greg - thanks for sharing.

 

Unfortunately for me my consultant did not reply to the DVLA either time they wrote to him so they are now trying my GP. I am seeing her on Monday, so hopefully can ensure that she does reply to them. Once I know she has I will get on the phone to the DVLA.

 

It is very frustrating not being able to drive - especially as I live in a hamlet with no public transport whatsoever. I am fortunate in that Access to Work pay for my taxi home from work on the days I go in but it is annoying to be house bound.

 

Gemma x

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