By law all drivers must meet the medical standards for fitness to drive and each year DVLA makes 500,000 medical licensing decisions. To help make these decisions, DVLA often requires questionnaires to be completed by a driver’s doctor or consultant.
The consultation launching today is seeking views on potentially changing the law – and amending the Road Traffic Act 1988 to enable healthcare professionals other than registered medical practitioners (doctors who are registered with the General Medical Council) to complete DVLA medical questionnaires.
This forms part of an approach by DVLA to improve the medical licensing processes and speed up the process by reducing the burden that currently rests with doctors in providing the information that is necessary to allow the DVLA make evidence-based driver licencing decisions.
In many cases other healthcare professionals, such as nurse practitioners, would be more involved in patient treatment and therefore equally placed to complete the questionnaire.
The consultation will until run until 6 December and is inviting feedback particularly from registered healthcare professionals, medical practitioners representative bodies within the health sector. It is available to view on GOV.UK and will take around 25 minutes to complete.
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. We are particularly keen to seek views from registered healthcare professionals, medical practitioners and representative bodies within the health sector on making this change.
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.