Sleep Apnoea

S Warner made this Freedom of Information request to Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Dear Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency,

As the research indicates that sleep apnoea/obstructive sleep apnoea in men and women differs, that physiologically there is a difference between the structures in male and female respiratory make up, that women can be at risk of sleep apnoea because of the effect of hormones and that sleep patterns differ in men and women.

Given this evidenced based peer reviewed research, please can the DVLA explain how it's advice, guidance and decision making about sleep apnoea in men and women recognises and accommodates for gender difference and what these adjustments are.

Please can the DVLA confirm whether Medical Practitioners are made aware of gender difference in sleep apnoea guidance from the DVLA?

Yours faithfully,
S Warner

FOI FOI, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Dear S Warner,

Thank you for your e-mail of 2 March 2019 to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agencies Freedom of Information team, about sleep apnoea/obstructive sleep apnoea etc.

Excessive sleepiness is linked to conditions such as Sleep Apnoea, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome, Narcolepsy and Cataplexy etc. The key to all in respect of driving is excessive sleepiness that is likely to have an adverse affect on driving.

An EU Directive relating to excessive sleepiness applied from December 2015. Details of the requirements for Group 1 and Group 2 drivers have been included in DVLA literature and DVLA’s guidance for medical professionals “Assessing fitness to drive”, since December 2015.

The main focus of the guidance is symptoms of sleepiness and control of sleepiness highlighted as the principal factor in terms of road safety. The guidance also addresses the requirements for patients who are waiting for or are undergoing assessment for excessive sleepiness. This makes clear that individuals with uncontrolled excessive sleepiness must be advised by their doctors not to drive.

I can confirm that there is no specific legislative or administrative requirement in terms of the gender of patients with condition/s causing excessive sleepiness. Therefore DVLA does not differentiate between different genders when considering a person’s fitness to drive. In addition DVLA does not advice Medical Practitioners to take gender into consideration when assessing a person’s fitness to drive.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to contact the DVLA and hope this response is helpful.

Regards,

David A Morgan
Freedom of Information Team
Data Sharing & Protection Group | Strategy, Policy and Communications Group | C2 | DVLA | Swansea | SA6 7JL
Twitter: @dvlagovuk

We can always spot an untaxed car. Tax it or lose it.
Rydym wastad yn llwyddo i ddod o hyd i gar heb dreth. Trethwch ef neu byddwch yn ei golli.
Go to/Ewch i www.gov.uk/vehicletax

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Dear FOI FOI,

Thank you for your reply. I am confused and I hope you could clarify, does the DVLA ever consider gender based advice when it comes to other issues relating to safe driving? If so, on what guidance or directives do you rely when you opt to regard/disregard gender in your advice/decision making.

Yours sincerely,

S Warner

FOI FOI, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Dear S Warner,

DVLA does not consider gender when assessing a person's fitness to drive. When considering fitness to drive DVLA are concerned primarily with the symptoms and effects of any condition, or the liability to sudden and disabling episodes. Investigations are conducted on a case by case basis and all relevant information is considered.

Regards,

David A Morgan
Freedom of Information Team
Data Sharing & Protection Group | Strategy, Policy and Communications Group | C2 | DVLA | Swansea | SA6 7JL
Twitter: @dvlagovuk

We can always spot an untaxed car. Tax it or lose it.
Rydym wastad yn llwyddo i ddod o hyd i gar heb dreth. Trethwch ef neu byddwch yn ei golli.
Go to/Ewch i www.gov.uk/vehicletax

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Dear David,

Forgive me but your response is equivocal, you have appear to have provided a response to an FOI query that wasn't asked. I didn't ask whether or not you considered gender when assessing fitness to drive.

I asked where there was gender related advice (for example driving during pregnancy - which would be gender related) what are the guidelines within the DVLA around considering it and what guidance does the DLVA rely on whereby it chooses to either regard/disregard information/advice about gender related issues and driving, and how this is communicated in your guidance to yourselves and to others.

Just to be clear this is not a query about driving during pregnancy per se, I have used it by way of an example.

Yours sincerely,

S Warner

FOI FOI, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Dear S Warner,

DVLA do not provide any gender specific advice in relation to driving either internally or externally. A driving licence is issued based on DVLA's assessment of a persons fitness to drive and this assessment takes no account of a person's gender.

Regards,

David A Morgan
Freedom of Information Team
Data Sharing & Protection Group | Strategy, Policy and Communications Group | C2 | DVLA | Swansea | SA6 7JL
Twitter: @dvlagovuk

We can always spot an untaxed car. Tax it or lose it.
Rydym wastad yn llwyddo i ddod o hyd i gar heb dreth. Trethwch ef neu byddwch yn ei golli.
Go to/Ewch i www.gov.uk/vehicletax

show quoted sections

Dear Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's handling of my FOI request 'Sleep Apnoea'.

Each response I have received has been equivocal and does not answer the question asked. I’m also concerned it is being deliberately misleading.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/s...

Yours faithfully,

S Warner

FOI FOI, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

Dear S Warner,

Thank you for your further e-mail concerning sleep apnoea. An Internal Review of your correspondence will not be conducted as your e-mails were dealt with as routine business and not via the terms of The Freedom of Information Act 2000. You were seeking advice not recorded information.

DVLA can only reiterate that a driving licence is issued based on DVLA's assessment of a person's fitness to drive and this assessment takes no account of a person's gender.

Regards,

David A Morgan
Freedom of Information Team
Data Sharing & Protection Group | Strategy, Policy and Communications Group | C2 | DVLA | Swansea | SA6 7JL
Twitter: @dvlagovuk

We can always spot an untaxed car. Tax it or lose it.
Rydym wastad yn llwyddo i ddod o hyd i gar heb dreth. Trethwch ef neu byddwch yn ei golli.
Go to/Ewch i www.gov.uk/vehicletax

show quoted sections