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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Friday, October 23, 2009

At a recent question session in the Commons for the Department for Transport Meg asked the following question.


Meg Munn: What steps he is taking to increase awareness of the risks for commercial drivers of undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea.


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Paul Clark): The Department for Transport has sought to increase awareness of undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnoea by including relevant literature in correspondence sent to vocational drivers and operators. It has also undertaken focused presentations to representative bodies, published informative articles in motor trade industry magazines and increased awareness among medical professionals.


Meg Munn: I thank my hon. Friend and the Secretary of State for their interest in this issue. My hon. Friend will be aware of recent academic research suggesting that one in five lorry drivers may suffer from sleep apnoea. Given that if diagnosed and treated it does not prevent lorry drivers from continuing their careers, but that if undiagnosed and untreated it means they are a risk to themselves and other people on the roads, can his Department commit to doing even more?


Paul Clark: May I first put on the record my recognition of the dogged determination that my hon. Friend has shown in campaigning on this issue? I thank her for arranging with me a meeting with her constituents, including the father and fiancÚe of her constituent who was killed as a result of this problem. I can guarantee that we will continue to work with the charity sector, the medical profession and occupational health to raise awareness. We will review the new Australian research to which my hon. Friend refers when the full evidence is available, and we are taking steps to reissue guidance to general practitioners on the medical form D4.


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