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Fitness to drive after SAH


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I had a WFNS Grade 1 SAH in July successfully treated by coiling. I duly notified DVLA and they wrote back to me [as I expected] to say I could not drive until I heard from them.

They did say, though, that my GP could check me and certify me fit to drive; I asked her to do so but she wasn't willing :(

My question is this: what is the usual length of time that DVLA stop you driving for after the SAH? Not: How long do I have to wait for them to tell me? They say it takes them around 12 weeks.

Chris

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Hi Chris

I was told I had to have a letter from my Consultant confirming I was ok to drive....it took me two years for the Ok to get back to driving....this was because of my double vision and balance. It does vary from person to person.

You mention your GP was not willing....have you tried your Consultant ?

Good luck.

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It took me 4 months although because my anni didn't rupture they didn't stop me from driving. I had to get the eye clinic to write to my gp stating that my one good eye met the dvla requirements and then she agreed to write to the dvla I was fit to drive.

In all honesty it is the gp who had the final decision as they see you more often .The DVLA didn't contact my Neuro at all but the registrar did write to my gp saying it was up to the DVLA which caused a hold up. I hadn't had any fits since the op so my eyesight seemed to be the sticking point hence the letter from the eye cons to my gp.

I have just informed the dvla of sleep apnea and have to fill in a form but as it is being managed with the use of a cpap they are happy for me to carry on driving. It's an odd system and I did badger them a lot to try and speed things up. I think they got sick of me calling every week or so!!

Good luck with getting your licence back xxx

Edited by bagpuss
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The initial form I filled in asked me to give my specialist's details, which I did. DVLA then contacted him. They now have all the information they need and have had it for nearly 12 weeks!

But what's the normal length of the driving ban if there is such a thing?

Edited by Tina
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I don't think there is a set time for a ban, everyones sah is very different & everyone recovers differently. I don't think you would be able to get the DVLA to pin down an exact time scale. I think for me it went as quickly as it could (with a slight delay in getting the correct info to my GP) so 12 weeks sounds about right.

I appreciate how frustrating it is dealing with such bureaucracy but these things take however long they take. The paperwork has to go to the medical team & that takes time to go through. All I can suggest is that you contact them every couple of weeks to see how things are progressing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was told in hospital that I would not be able to drive and that I should tell DVLA. It's never that easy, of course, with government departments and, with help, I found the way to inform them. Gave them all the details (can't quite remember how!) and they wrote to me and said I had to send my licence back and could re-apply for it after 6 months. Worst thing I had to do in my life was envelope up my licence and put it in the post box - like a complete giving up of independence - but, at the time, I accepted it because I really was in a complete fog about what had happened to me. And, honestly, I was not fit to drive then.

After the due 6 months, I re-applied - you have to do that on a form as if you had never had a licence. Heard nothing. Called them and they said they couldn't talk to me about it but a letter was in the post. Letter arrived, they had my re-application and had written to consultant - they expected to hear from him in 6 weeks! Waited 6 weeks - did not hear from them. Called again - they said they had not heard from consultant. Called consultant's secretary who told me he had answered a month ago. Called DVLA WHO ADMITTED THEY HAD HEARD FROM CONSULTANT AND LETTER WAS IN THE POST. (INVOLUNTARY MOVE TO CAPS HERE!!)

Letter arrived - and it said they had heard from consultant and my re-application had been referred to their their medical specialist - I could expect to hear again - but not for 6 weeks! Cue tears and, eventually, after calling them again with the tears, my licence was re-issued. So 6 months plus 6 weeks plus 6 weeks = 9 months without my licence.

I guess all circumstances are different though - I had a nasty haemorrhage with hydrocephalus and ensuing complications with low sodium/brain swelling issues. I have mobility problems as a result and some horrible conceptual issues. I do drive but not very far or fast. I have had my vision carefully checked and also had someone independently assess my driving. The last thing I want to be is someone who irritates other road users. I don't drive at night. I'm not daft - just someone who recognises a loss of capability.

At the end of the day, it was right that they said I couldn't drive for a while - what really got to me was the frustration of their time impositions - the constant 6 weeks. At work, where I deal a lot with DWP for disabled people, they give me 10 days to respond to their letters! Doesn't seem to work the other way round, eh?

So - my advice is call the DVLA and keep calling them, even when they write to you and say you shouldn't call them. But be sure that you want to/are capable of doing the driving thing!

Victoria

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