The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

GPs Not to be Blind to Driving Problems

04 December 2015 | Updated 01 January 1970

The General Medical Council has reminded doctors that they must inform the DVLA (or DVA in Northern Ireland) if a patient continues to drive against medical advice and fails to do this themselves.

The GMC has stated that doctors who take this action will not face any legal action or sanction for breaking patient confidentiality. “Doctors often find themselves in challenging situations,” accepted Niall Dickson, CEO, GMC. “This is difficult territory as most patients will do the sensible thing but the truth is that a few will not and may not have the insight to realise that they are a risk to others behind the wheel of a car.

Mr Dickson stated that drivers should be aware that confidentiality is not an absolute and doctors can play an important part in keeping the wider public safe if a patient is not safe to be behind the wheel. “We are clear that doctors carrying out their duty will not face any sanction and this new guidance makes clear that we will support those who are faced with these difficult decisions.”

This latest guidance has met with the approval of one of the driving organisations – the RAC Foundation. It recognised that while 37 million drivers depended on the car for getting about, for those with serious medical conditions there is a real fear around losing their license, even though the DVLA has warned that they could be fined up to £1,000 if they ignore their condition. “But with the right treatment many illnesses will not lead to people having to hang up the keys,” assured Steve Gooding, Director, RAC Foundation. “The worst thing motorists can do is ignore medical advice. Depriving someone of their ability to drive can create its own set of social and health issues and doctors will take reasonable steps to help keep people mobile though not at the cost of endangering the wider public. Ultimately the way forward must be for doctor and patient to work together rather than in isolation.”

Picture: The GMC has told GPs that they must inform the DVLA about their patients’ medical problems above their usual confidentiality duty


Article written by Mike Gannon | Published 04 December 2015


Related Articles

Bank Holiday Road Chaos Commences

The misery that is travelling by road on a Bank Holiday weekend is likely to start early as good weather will see people setting asap on their 16.5 million or more...

 Read Full Article
Don't Let Driving Cause The Summertime Blues

The RAC is urging drivers to check their vehicles before setting out in the heat - and to be aware that heat can cause tiredness and tiredness can increase the likelihood...

 Read Full Article
Jumping RAC Flash - Patrols Get EV Rescue Charger

In readiness for the electric vehicle boom, the RAC has developed the first lightweight mobile electric vehicle charger capable of giving stranded out-of-charge cars a...

 Read Full Article
Pothole Breakdown Menace Doubles

Drivers are more than twice as likely suffer the fury of a  breakdown due to hitting a pothole than 12 years ago and the UK’s perennial pothole problem...

 Read Full Article
Did You See The Kitten? Keep Your Eyes On The Road - And Off The Dog

The DVLA has asked drivers to look again at the new EYE 735T campaign; Peugeot have a system that identifies when a driver takes their eyes off the road; and the RAC says...

 Read Full Article
Going Potty Over Potholes

The second three months of 2018 led to RAC patrols dealing with more pothole-related breakdowns than in any other second quarter since 2015. Between April and June an...

 Read Full Article
16 Highway Code Rules Most People Ignore

When did you last dust off your copy of the Highway Code? Research suggests over three-quarters of UK drivers never return to the motoring bible after passing their...

 Read Full Article
Drivers Dont Declare Penalty Points

Nearly a quarter (23%) of motorists did not inform their insurer the last time they received penalty points on their licence, according to research carried  out by...

 Read Full Article
An Inconvenient Truth

  Figures show that four in 10 hospital trusts in England that charge for parking offer no option to pay by credit or debit card at any of their sites, while a...

 Read Full Article
The Secret of the Black Magic Box

Increasing numbers of businesses in Northern Ireland are benefitting from the cost saving features of vehicle telematics technology, according to a Belfast-based vehicle...

 Read Full Article