Cardiac arrest victim says jobs at risk because of DVLA delay in returning licences

Hundreds of people could be at risk of losing their jobs because the DVLA is too slow in returning their driving licence after they suffered cardiac arrest, one victim has claimed.

By Ian Swanson
Thursday, 4th November 2021, 4:55 am

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Stuart Montgomery, from Wallyford, had a heart attack followed by a cardiac arrest earlier this year and then had a defibrillator implant fitted in April.

In such circumstances people are required to give up their driving licence for six months.

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Kenny MacAskill says he has had about 20 DVLA cases in the last two months

But Mr Montgomery, 62, has made a full recovery and applied in good time to get his licence back so he can once again drive around the country in his job as a sales manager for Belhaven Brewery.

The six month period of surrender for his licence was up last month, but he says trying to get it back from the DVLA is proving "near impossible".

"You're held on the phone for about an hour – some days you can't get through at all. Nobody can answer any questions. I emailed them three times and they didn't come back to me once,” he said.

He added that he had sent off the forms for the return of his licence on September 2.

"I also sent an in-depth report from my heart consultant to my GP that details my present health and fitness.

"The other week they sent me two forms to fill in which I'd already sent them, so they'd lost them but they've got them again now.

"I've been phoning them up since the start of September but two months later I'm no further on.

"I'm 100 per cent fit to drive – my consultant said I'd made an amazing recovery – so it's rather frustrating."

Mr Montgomery has returned to work, but is having to base himself at home. "My job is travelling about visiting pubs and customers," he said.

He says the brewery is very understanding. "I’m very fortunate, but there must be hundreds of people like me who could lose their job because of this.

"It's very frustrating. For the first time in my life my hands are completely tied behind my back – I can't get any information whatsoever, they're not willing to help you."

East Lothian MP Kenny MacAskill has taken up Mr Montgomery's case and asked that it be treated as a matter of urgency.

Mr MacAskill said he had had around 20 DVLA cases in last couple of months.

"Far too many constituents have had issues with the DVLA. They need to ensure that those who require their licence can access it as soon as possible, not weeks or months down the line and having to email or phone, never mind contact their MP."

DVLA was contacted for comment.

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