Ive was diagnosed with Polycythaemia vera (PV) a couple of yrs ago and was having venous sections to treat it,ive started having chemotherapy injections at home once a fortnight now and had some to off work to make sure i was ok.
I’m ready to go back now and have told my employer but thay want me to see a independent occupational health company to see if I’m fit to work.
Here’s the issue,I’m a HGV driver and what’s the legal situation with my licence and can thay refuse to let me drive for them again.
Never had any problems at all before i went off sick and the consultant never said i can’t drive- what’s my legal position and do DVLA need to know?
Getting very stressed about loosing my job now.
Thanks for any information thay you can offer
A great big welcome @Symon and I am so sorry to hear how stressed you are.
I can only help a bit, I believe It is often standard practice for employers to require us to be assessed by independent occupational health company or medical person after long term sick leave to assess if we are fit to work.
Obviously they will know what our job is and entails and assess us to the criteria for that role, i.e. in your case an HGV driver.
They would then send a report of their findings to our employers and I certainly would ask for a copy.
As for informing DVLA and the legal requirements I definitely do not know.
My philosophy is always to inform, but that is just me.
However hopefully the report would act as my evidence that I was fit to carry out my role as, in your case, an HGV driver.
Your employer might be able to assist and/or advise you.
Someone else might have more experiences to share.
If you would like to speak to someone the Blood Cancer UK support line is there for you on 0808 2080 888.
Please do let us know how you get on and the waiting on others is horrible.
Be kind and look after yourself
Thanks for the insight to what might be coming and will have to see what thay ask and there answers
Hi Symon, and welcome to the forum. I’m sorry to hear that you are having this issue with your employer: it’s the last thing you need on top of your diagnosis.
I too am a HGV driver and was diagnosed with Essential Thrombocythemia (ET) a litle over 5 years ago now, following my first (to date!) heart attack. I was cleared to drive by the DVLA a few weeks after my heart attack, including the “Stress Test” on the treadmill. Fast forward 3 years to me approaching 55 years of age and my renewal paperwork arrived through the post, just in time for COVID.
My medical examination took place in a VW Caravelle Minivan (I kid you not), but there was much more concern about my heart attack than my blood cancer. Back on the treadmill again, and once completed I was issued with a licence for another 4 and a bit years.
Now, following “overwork”, something you are no doubt familiar with, I had a heated discussion with my manager, which resulted in me having a telephone consultation with an Occupational Health Doctor, who hadn’t heard of my condition. To cut a long story short, I still work full-time, but my original 40 hours per week and not the “new 45 hour” week that my colleagues work. Not sure if any of this helps to put your mind at rest, and it’s worth you checking if your condition is on the DVLA list of “Notifiable Conditions”.
Good Luck, stay safe, keep smiling and remember to be kind to yourself.
My employer is known for being ott on health and safety but quite happily to let you get up at 2:30am most mornings and do a “average 48hr week”- 60hrs most weeks then a couple of weeks at 40hrs to bring it back into range- thay seem to work the system like most transport managers.
I’ll have a word with the union to see what thay say mate- thanks
Hi @Symon, a warm welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing what’s been going on for you. It’s so understandable to be feeling stressed as I’m sure many others do feel when considering going back to work and how their diagnosis might impact that. Please know that our Support Team are here for you if you’d like a bit of support at this time or need a sounding board (Blood cancer information and support by phone and email | Blood Cancer UK).
You’ve been given some useful replies by our fellow forum members. I thought I’d just share with you the gov.uk guidance around notifiable conditions - Medical conditions, disabilities and driving: Telling DVLA about a medical condition or disability - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). They also have a webpage specifically about cancer and driving- Cancer and driving - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
As Erica said it isn’t uncommon for people to see occupational health departments before going back to work and they may be useful in helping you to get back to work in a way that is right for you.
In case it’s useful at all, we have some general information about work on our website- Blood cancer: money and work | Blood Cancer UK. It goes through your rights at work as well as other things to consider and avenues for further support and advice. One of those would be the organisation Acas, who offer advice on work matters.
Apologies for the lengthy response! Do let us know if we can support you at all.
Thanks for the reply as all information is appreciated,i have a telephone call on Monday with one of the specialist nurses to discuss my situation and offer some advice.
Having worked all my life since i was 15 yrs old it’s very strange not to work and provide for my family- fingers crossed all goes well.
Thanks again for all your help
Oh @Symon fingers and toes crossed for you and please do let us know firstly how your call with your specialist nurse goes.
Perhaps it might be a thought to write down all the points you want to say to the independent occupational health person.
Look after yourself
Good morning Erica
I had a good long chat with the specialist nurse on Monday morning and she assured me that my condition will not affect my work and as long as the condition is kept under control thay have no issues with me going back to my normal job- she said if my employer needed any written confirmation of this thay had no problem do this and the consultant is very happy for me to go back to work as long as i feel fit to do so.
My employer have got a independent occupational health company with their own doctor so will have all the answers for him
Thanks to everyone on here who have offered their support on this as it is much appreciated- fingers crossed I’ll be glad to go back to work on Monday
Oh @Symon that is great news, I have found my specialist nurse to be so helpful too.
I will be thinking of you, take it very steady
Hi Symon, I’m really chuffed to hear this good news from your specialist nurse; it must be quite a relief for you.
Just remember to not overdo things. I speak as a hypocrite on this matter as I’m absolutely useless as saying “no”!
Also remember to be kind to yourself too.
Stay safe and keep on trucking!
Hi @Symon you have been given lots of great information do let us know how you get on.
In my experience as a manager in a large organisation we routinely referred anyone who had been absent from work with a long term medical condition to occupational health before they returned to work. It wasn’t to check they were fit to return it was to explore how we could make sure we put the right things in place to support them returning such as any reasonable adjustments that might need to be made. Like working hours, additional equipment etc. This might be why you are being seen too ? Your employer has a duty of care so they will want to ensure they have explored anything they need to do to support you. Do you need / want to make any adjustments to support your return work might be something you want to consider? Shorter workdays/ extra breaks/ different driving routes etc
When I went back after my treatment I had a 12 week return to work plan during this time , I worked to build my hours back up to full time and split them between home and the office.
Hope all goes well.
I hope that their independent doctor sees it that way,like I’ve said beforehand i have been told by the specialist nurse and the consultant that I’m fit and ok to go back to work and don’t think he will argue with the professionals who deal with this every day,I’m running 3 to 4 miles most mornings as i don’t sleep well so up and out around 5am,i lost nearly 4 stones and need to put it back on just to look a bit more back to normal if you know what i mean.
Like you said thay have a duty of care so should be ok to get back at it on Monday
Wow that’s amazing that you are running again I am a little / a lot jealous . Well done you. I was a runner too but just never got back to it in part because of my new osteoporosis but also I am just not as fit as I was.
That’s an amazing achievement.
Do let us know how Monday goes , will be thinking of you.
Just a update that I’ve been passed fit to go back to work on Monday by the works doctor and he’s happy for me resume normal duties,so ive got two weeks retraining as per the norm with my job.
I hope everything improves with yourselve and with the help and understanding with the people on here i can only thank you all x
Oh @Symon you have made my day, great news and go carefully.
Look after yourself and be kind to yourself
Hi Symon, I’m glad to hear that common sense has broken out for you and hope that your two weeks retraining will be painless for you.
Good Luck when you go back to work and remember to take care of, and to be kind to, yourself.
Safe driving and take care.
As you get older and wiser you find out your not invisible and need to look at life through different eyes,we all wish we were 21 again but time and tide wait for no man or beast and as I’ve learnt that you need to live for the moment, no matter how little those moments are you have to cherish them.
Always been a simple man and never wanted all those flash things just a good family and true friends- you can everything away but not true friends.
The Blood cancer people who talk you through the shifty times are there for you regardless of creed or culture - i spoke with Lauren and if i could ever meet her she would get the biggest hug ever - she’s been fantastic as have all people on here - as a macho man take it from me who ever reads this- IT GOOD TO TALK
Oh what a lovely and also sensible post, yes, the best thing in life are free and actually priceless like family and friends @Symon.
Perhaps the one thing my diagnosis did give me was the opportunity to assess my life and look at what I wanted out of it and with whom.
I will copy your post to @LauranBloodCancerUK she is lovely and send her loads of virtual hugs.
Yes, thought to keep is that it is good to talk and to post on our forum.