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Meg Munn MP - Sheffield Heeley's voice in Parliament | Welcome
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Meg named ‘Parliamentarian of the Month’

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Meg is delighted to have been named as ‘Parliamentarian of the Month’ by Brake, the road safety charity, for her work to improve road safety. She has been working to raise awareness of undiagnosed Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), a condition which can lead to drivers falling asleep behind the wheel.


Meg said:


“I am delighted that the campaign to reduce the risk of undiagnosed Obstructive Sleep Apnoea has received this recognition. It is imperative that we continue to build on our current successes and make further changes to reduce the amount of deaths on our roads as a result of OSA.


It’s important that we remember that nearly one in six lorry drivers may have sleep apnoea, a condition that can so easily be treated, but if left undetected can have fatal results.”


In early 2008 Meg was contacted by her constituent Seb Schmoller, after his nephew Toby Tweddell was tragically killed by a lorry driver who suffered from undiagnosed OSA and fell asleep behind the wheel. She brought together a team of highly knowledgeable individuals and research professionals including Dr Dev Banerjee from Birmingham Heartlands hospital and Dr Stephen Bianchi from the Royal Hallamshire hospital to consider the most effective way of tackling the danger of undiagnosed OSA.


They underlined the need for greater screening of commercial drivers as part of the licensing process, as well as the introduction of legal requirements for commercial operators to have Obstructive Sleep Apnoea screening processes in place. This is of course, alongside the ever present need to raise awareness of the condition in the driving and medical professions.


Following her Adjournment debate in the House of Commons in May on undiagnosed OSA in professional drivers, Meg met Transport Minister Paul Clark. The Minister acknowledged undiagnosed OSA to be a greater danger in the UK than previously believed and told Meg that changes were to be made to the D4 medical form completed by drivers when applying for their licenses.


Meg followed up this meeting with a question in Parliament in October pressing for further guarantees that action will be taken to prevent further deaths as a result of undiagnosed OSA. Paul Clark subsequently commented that as well as making changes to the medical form, they will make GPs more aware of the dangers of undiagnosed Obstructive Sleep Apnoea.


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