Driving & IBS

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Weasel

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Hi all,
I applied for 2 TOCs last year for Trainee Driver, I then got invited to assessment for both a few months later, between that time though I was diagnosed with IBS. Because of this, when I got invited to assessments I withdrew my application figuring it probably wasn't the best job. Who wants to be in charge of a train load of people and suddenly you need the loo!
I've since been figuring out what I want to do with myself since I was fairly set on driving trains as my career move! Which leads me to my question, is there such a thing as drivers with IBS? Would it be a medical failure? Just wondering what the procedure would be if the worst happened?
Cheers!
 
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ComUtoR

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We have a Driver with a colostomy bag. I can't remember but I don't think it was due to IBS.

If you were prepared to go that route then I don't see it as an issue.

A mate of mine has it though and the number of times he goes to the loo would certainly be a barrier to driving a train.
 

Red18

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Hi Weasel,
I have two close family members with Crohns disease and ,as I'm sure you know, this has some similarity with IBS. The problem you're going to have is the random nature of it, you never know when it's going to flare up and if that happens to be at the start of a 10 hour driving shift with only a minimum break you're going to be putting yourself under enormous pressure.
I wouldn't give up just yet though. Maybe speak to your GP and get their advice first. Maybe there are some better drugs for controlling this out there.
Good luck.
 
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furnessvale

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Hi all,
I applied for 2 TOCs last year for Trainee Driver, I then got invited to assessment for both a few months later, between that time though I was diagnosed with IBS. Because of this, when I got invited to assessments I withdrew my application figuring it probably wasn't the best job. Who wants to be in charge of a train load of people and suddenly you need the loo!
I've since been figuring out what I want to do with myself since I was fairly set on driving trains as my career move! Which leads me to my question, is there such a thing as drivers with IBS? Would it be a medical failure? Just wondering what the procedure would be if the worst happened?
Cheers!

A similar condition became a major problem for a driver I know.

He finished up getting himself promoted to traction inspector so that he was not in the position of being "taken short" when in sole charge of a moving train, although all he had ever wanted to do in life was be a driver.

I doubt this would be an option for you so you may need to consider your career options.
 

Weasel

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I doubt this would be an option for you so you may need to consider your career options.

I was thinking along these lines which is why I withdrew my applications. I really can't imagine what you would do if you suddenly needed the loo, as has been mentioned it happens so randomly you've no way of knowing when it could happen.
What are some more static based roles that could be more suited?
 

tony6499

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I don't think you'd be taken on in a safety critical role with a known limiting disability
 

Louby

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I don't think you'd be taken on in a safety critical role with a known limiting disability

Ibs is not a disability and the seriousness is unique to each individual, , it's worse with some people than others as are the symptoms , can we stop the scare mongering before it starts please
 
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LowLevel

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We have drivers with IBS and as far as I know they're all medically restricted to depot/station shunt work.
 

fordfiesta

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I have Crohn's and now a trainee driver. I told the TOC about it from the application stage and went though my medical history with the doctor during the medical.

My Crohn's is under control with the help of medication and diet. There are many different types of medication that can help keep it under control. Just beware to make the doctor know that you will be doing a safety critical role.

Remember as long as you meet all medical criteria set out for train drivers you will be fine. But only you know your own body and how it works, if you need to run to the toilet at sort notice there won't be one available all the time when your a driver.
 

Louby

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If you need the loo a lot then yes I agree, mine is bloatiness ( very rare) but still got classed with it, if I keep off the cheese butties I'm fine !
 
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RPM

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The term IBS covers quite a wide range of conditions/symptoms to it isn't really possible to give a general opinion of how it might affect one's ability to drive trains. I was diagnosed with IBS a few years ago but I don't suffer from being caught short, so on a day to day basis it doesn't stop me driving. It's just uncomfortable. I know colleagues who are also IBS sufferers and some of them have to have periods of light duties, depot driving etc. That's never happened to me although I have had to take one or two short periods off sick when I've had particularly heavy rectal bleeding (sorry if that's too much information!) It's not a regular occurrence though. It's really something that has to be taken on a case by case basis, but it can usually be accommodated for existing staff. However, for new starters the competition for places is so stiff that any medical issue might count against you.
 

Weasel

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For me it is completely random, could have a month without any issues then another time have stomach issues Twice in a month. I think I knew the answer when I posted hence withdrawing my job applications. Was just hoping for a miracle clause in contracts!
As for having a bag, i would rather not have one unless I medically needed one.
 

Met Driver

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You'll never get a definitive answer (with regard to failing the medical) unless you pass the application process and go to the medical. Why not try? If it turns out to be a show stopper as far as driving goes, then the medical has served its purpose! You might end up getting offered an alternative role.
 

fabs

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I'd agree with met Driver. Go through the application process then discuss at length with the Railway Doctor at the medical. Have as much info (medical notes) with you as possible so he/she can make an informed assessment.
You'll never know otherwise, although I do sympathise as it'd be gutting to get that far and then fail a medical.
Good luck what ever you decide.
 

Stigy

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Depends how it's managed. I'm not a driver but have a medical condition similar to this which isn't as bad as it first appears. I'm on medication and it's well controlled. If I didn't take the medication for some time then it would be a nightmare. If I went for a driving job I wouldn't have any issues because of this condition, so much so that it's debatable whether I'd even need to declare it with the TOC (the drugs I take are not on the list of 'banned' drugs for TOCs and as such don't impact me on a day to day basis.)
 
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