DVLA Starts Consultation for Extending Number of Healthcare Professionals Who Can Complete Drivers’ Medical Forms
All drivers in the UK have to meet medical standards that show they’re fit to drive. Every year, the DVLA makes around 500,000 licensing decisions based on drivers’ medical information. To help with the decision making, the agency often needs additional information from doctors or consultants by way of a medical questionnaire. In 2020 – 2021, around 207,000 questionnaires had to be completed by doctors.
Currently, only doctors registered with the General Medical Council can fill in DVLA medical questionnaires. On November 8th, the DVLA launched a consultation to seek opinions on possibly amending the Road Traffic Act 1988 to allow healthcare professionals other than registered doctors to complete the medical forms.
The DVLA hopes to speed up and improve the medical licensing process by reducing the onus on doctors to provide the information the DVLA needs to make evidence-based decisions on drivers’ fitness to drive. Often, other healthcare professionals, such as specialist nurses, are involved in the treatment and care of patients and just as able to complete the medical questionnaire on behalf of their patients.
With the current legislation, if a specialist nurse rather than a doctor is best placed to fill in the questionnaire, they would need to get it signed off by a doctor. This can mean a nurse who is very experienced in a particular medical condition would need to get their work countersigned by a junior doctor with no expertise in that field. As a result, drivers being assessed can experience longer than necessary delays.
DVLA Chief Executive, Julie Lennard, said, “Year on year we are seeing an increase in medical licensing applications for drivers and we are continuously looking for ways to improve the process for customers and the medical profession.
“This proposal would allow a wider pool of healthcare professionals to complete a driver’s medical questionnaire, reducing the burden on GPs and consultants.”
The consultation runs until December 6th, and the DVLA is asking for feedback on amending the law, especially from registered healthcare professionals, medical practitioners, and representative bodies within the health sector.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere said, “These plans are designed to make the medical licensing processes more efficient to both reduce waiting times and ease the burden on doctors and consultants.
“I encourage medical and healthcare professionals to provide their views to this consultation so we can ensure we can safely improve the system in a way that suits everyone.”
Notifiable Medical Conditions
There are over 200 medical conditions that you may need to tell the DVLA about, some of which you might find surprising. To check if you should notify the DVLA of a condition you can find the full A to Z list here.
Image Source: DVLA.gov