Medical standards

Discussion in 'Railway Jobs & Careers' started by Bear_with_me44, 9 Nov 2019.

  1. Bear_with_me44

    Bear_with_me44 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2019
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Good evening All, I am new to the group and are researching all possible avenues with regards to acceptance standards for when applying for a Trainee Train Driver role.
    I have had a lengthy read through the varying posts over recent months from different group members in an effort to try and establish the industries standards with regards to medical conditions both past and present and any medications that are frowned upon. I’ve also had a gander on the RSSB website but cannot find anything.
    I have had a past history of anxiety & depression which was managed using anti-depressants at the time. I am also Type 2 diabetic and manage this by medication and through diet/exercise.
    Has/is anyone else experienced the same and is it likely to put the brakes on any potential applications?
    Thank you.
     
  2. Registered users do not see these banners - join or log in today!

    Rail Forums

     
  3. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,922
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2009
    Click here for the RSSB guidance for medical fitness. As far as anti-depressants go, each case will be judged on its individual merits so I certainly wouldn’t fret about that. I’m not sure about diabetes, but I believe if you’re insulin dependant, you’re not able to do safety critical work? Being type 2, I don’t believe you’re insulin dependent?

    Unless there’s something clearly barring you from applying, I wouldn’t worry at this stage and would cross that bridge when I come to it. Good luck!
     
  4. C J Snarzell

    C J Snarzell Member

    Messages:
    208
    Joined:
    11 Apr 2019
    Bear

    From my own experience of medicals, alcohol and drugs are the main obstacle that many people fail on. That said if someone suffers from extremely poor vision or black outs then there's no way you will get to be a driver.

    Illnesses like Diabetes that is regularly medicated shouldn't be too much of a problem but there may be further red tape that the medical people need to deal with before you get the green light. Mental illness is an interesting one because all of us can suffer from different ellements of stress and depression that can be caused by a number of issues. I don't mind admitting that I suffered from long term stress caused by my job in the police - shift work, coupled with heavy workloads, not getting refreshment breaks and lack of sleep and regular exercise took its toll. Again I'm not overly concerned about bringing this up during a medical and discussing it with the doctor.

    From my own experience of occupational health, the TOC doctor may decided to make appointments to see him/her every few months just to do a check up on your health and ensure you get all the support you need to do your job.

    Good luck with it anyway.

    C J
     
  5. Bayum

    Bayum Established Member

    Messages:
    1,881
    Joined:
    21 Mar 2008
    Location:
    Leeds
    I’m actually quite surprised at the lenience given by the RSSB for various medications.

    I’ve been on opiate pain relief for years and always assumed they would rule out my ability to have a job on the railway. True to form, I get very few side effects now, beside the digestive and bowel slowness, and have never had problems with excessive sleepiness.
    I would assume however, not all employers or TOCs have the same leniency?
     
  6. Bear_with_me44

    Bear_with_me44 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2019
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Thank you to all for their input and experiences of the various standards. Certainly now that diabetes is becoming more and more common, because of peoples varying work/life habits, it is treated very much as a disability now, so any employers have to be careful on how they 'manage' this with their employees. After all diabetes is not always something you get from birth, you can be diagnosed at any time of your life. So it can be an issue if say a long serving staff member is suddenly diagnosed as being type 1 or 2 after a recent illness.
    Just have to remain positive and go through the processes like everyone else.
    Thanks again :)
     
  7. 172345

    172345 Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    17 Oct 2019
    Location:
    Worcester
    Absolutely not the case! I know a good number of drivers at my TOC are type 2 and I'm a type 1 driver.
    My advice to the OP is not to ask medical questions on here. You'll be told you can't do it and it'll hammer your confidence going forward. The best advice I can give you is apply, get through the process and let the company doctor make a decision on you.
     
  8. Bear_with_me44

    Bear_with_me44 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2019
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    That is a relief to hear. Comments noted, thank you.
     
  9. dan ...

    dan ... Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    4 Nov 2019
    Location:
    North east
    How do people fail the alcohol and drugs test so often, I understand people like to have a drink although alcohol is out of your system in 3-48 hours? If you know your going to have your medical.. makes no sense lol
     
  10. C J Snarzell

    C J Snarzell Member

    Messages:
    208
    Joined:
    11 Apr 2019
    dan

    I generally think people don't realise the long term effects drugs and alcohol has on the human body. For example, you can have one spliff of cannabis and weeks later there may be still traces of it in your system. People who binge drink can have a weeks abstinence prior to a medical but a blood test may show up with signs of liver abnormalities because of bouts of excessive drinking. A human liver can give away all sorts of secrets about a person's lifestyle even though they may not necessarily fall into the 'alcohol dependancy' category.

    C J
     
  11. DI1964

    DI1964 Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    26 May 2019
    It's a urine sample only for the drug/alcohol tests, blood is not taken.
    As mentioned above, if you're trying to get on the railway and have any concerns about your health, go and see the relevant health professional rather than come on places like this where you will undoubtedly get wrong / conflicting information.
     
  12. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,922
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2009
    My mistake in that case, must be stuck in the dark ages? That or it varies from TOC to TOC. However, I would disagree with you about your comment re asking medical questions here. It puts one’s mind at ease more often than not. I found this myself when asking questions and it seems others who ask these questions feel the same, even if it’s just being linked to the RSSB site.

    I’m not sure if it was a dig at me, but just to clear things up some more; I was also clear in my initial post that I wouldn’t worry at this stage if I were the OP and wouldn’t let anything sway my decision for applying for posts unless it was clear I’d not pass the medical.
     
  13. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    24 Apr 2014
    Location:
    PTSO or platform depending on the weather
    You might want to take your last few blood sugar readings (e.g. HbA1C) to your medical to satisfy the doctor that your blood sugars are stable and fall within the acceptable limits. I take it you are on Metformin?

    You may also find this useful:

    https://www.aslef.org.uk/article.php?group_id=5953
     
    Last edited: 11 Nov 2019
  14. Bear_with_me44

    Bear_with_me44 New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2019
    Location:
    Hertfordshire
    Once again, thanks for all of your advice and remarks, cheers for the link robert7111a, makes it a lot clearer.
     
  15. 172345

    172345 Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    17 Oct 2019
    Location:
    Worcester
    Again I strongly disagree with what you are saying. You say that it can put one's mind at rest by seeking medical advice off this forum but I don't think that is the case.

    I asked the same question when I first was diagnosed with type 1 many years ago and I was inundated with people saying I couldn't do a safety critical role. After 7 years in a safety crit role I have proven those people wrong.

    Now what you must remember is its bloody hard living with conditions such as the above mentioned and when we have people taking a punt at giving advice it can often be to the detriment of the OPs health. I found it extremely damaging to my own mental health at the time I had to delete my account.

    Whilst I'm not personally attacking you I just wish people would only give advice on what they know to be true. People don't realise that what could be considered to be sound advice can actually be very damaging. If I'd of accepted the advice of people off here then I wouldn't be a driver now.

    If you feel ill and google your symptoms the chances are google will tell you that you have a matter of days to live and thats similar to this forum. I categorically stand by my original advice. Allow a railway doctor to make a decision on you not members of this forum who 'live in the dark ages'.
     
  16. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    24 Apr 2014
    Location:
    PTSO or platform depending on the weather
    @172345

    Lots of people on this forum actually give quite good advice and know what they are talking about

    I for one have many years experience in a medical and technical field. Part of my job involves training junior doctors and M.Sc. students on work placements in my specialist area of expertise
     
  17. 172345

    172345 Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    17 Oct 2019
    Location:
    Worcester
    Whilst I completely agree that this forum has many wonderful uses, surely as a medical practitioner you should be pushing people to seek proper medical advice? Rather than that from someone who thinks they have some sort of idea as to what they are talking about!

    Again, I'll reinforce my original point. I'd strongly advise anyone who has questions over their own conditions and illnesses to seek advice from the company doctor rather than that of forum members.
     
  18. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    24 Apr 2014
    Location:
    PTSO or platform depending on the weather
    "You might want to take your last few blood sugar readings (e.g. HbA1C) to your medical to satisfy the doctor that your blood sugars are stable and fall within the acceptable limits".

    Please re-read Post 12 - my bold
     
  19. Steam Man

    Steam Man Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    9 May 2019
    I always ask forum members for advice they’ve given me some good advice because I gave up smoking this year and started vaping I’m hoping to give that up by 2022 I was always worried about failing the drugs test for it and I was told as long as it’s nothing illegal and I bought it from reputable sources I had nothing to worry about which I’m very grateful for and it has put my mind at rest
     
  20. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,922
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2009
    You’re entitled to your opinions. This forum helped me no end when I was concerned about my eyesight. Sometimes, one will not even be given sound advice by their own doctor, so I don’t really think it matters a great deal getting advice from a place like this, especially when there’s so much hands on experience here. It’s the same in other areas of the forum where advice is offered in that one will often be given advice in good faith from external sources, which is incorrect to all intents and purposes.

    As I said, we will agree to disagree.
     
  21. Trains4Life

    Trains4Life Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2019
    Location:
    London
    I’m also worrying about a medical that’s coming up. I’m currently on a low dosage of Quetiapine for OCD. I take it at night and have been doing for a few years now. I have no side effects what so ever and still function as normal. My job role is station support assistant, will this affect my medical results at all?
     
  22. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,922
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2009
    As I said earlier, things like this are largely judged on their individual merits. Medication such as yours is so common these days I’d imagine you’d be okay. Is your role at present safety critical? If so, I’d say it’s even less to worry about. The main thing is to declare everything.
     
  23. Trains4Life

    Trains4Life Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2019
    Location:
    London
    Thanks for getting back to me. I can’t stop worrying about the medical. I’ve been trying to get a job on the railway for a while now, I’d hate to have got this far to then fail the medical because of my medication. The role I’ve applied for is safety critical, at present I don’t have a job role as I’m currently unemployed
     
  24. Stigy

    Stigy Established Member

    Messages:
    2,922
    Joined:
    6 Nov 2009
    Oh I see, apologies, I read your initial post as you currently are a station support assistant and are applying for another role.
     
  25. Trains4Life

    Trains4Life Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2019
    Location:
    London
    Sorry, that’s my fault for not working it right. The job role I have applied for is station support assistant
     
  26. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    24 Apr 2014
    Location:
    PTSO or platform depending on the weather
    OCD could certainly work in your favour with respect to following rules and regulations by the letter.

    But check with your GP as this drug can cause drowsiness
     
  27. Trains4Life

    Trains4Life Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2019
    Location:
    London
    Oh I always follow rules and regulations as they should. What shall I check with the GP? Should I get the GP to sign something and take it to the medical as proof I’m okay on the tablets and that they don’t make my sleepy?
     
  28. robert7111a

    robert7111a Established Member

    Messages:
    2,563
    Joined:
    24 Apr 2014
    Location:
    PTSO or platform depending on the weather
    Only you know if the tablets make you sleepy and whether or not its worth the risk with respect to whatever you apply for
     
  29. Trains4Life

    Trains4Life Member

    Messages:
    6
    Joined:
    25 Jun 2019
    Location:
    London
    The tablets don’t make me sleepy at all, I have no side effects from them
     

Share This Page