Consultation could pave the way for physiotherapists to complete DVLA medical questionnaires
Physiotherapists and other healthcare professionals are being encouraged to take part in a consultation exercise that could see them receiving the green light to complete DVLA medical questionnaires.
At present, only registered medical practitioners (doctors who are registered with the General Medical Council) can complete the questionnaires, and the DVLA is seeking views on widening pool of healthcare professionals who can do so.
It launched the consultation on 8 November, and the deadline for responding ends on 6 December. In a press release, the DVLA says that healthcare professionals, such as nurse practitioners, are often more involved in a patient’s treatment than a doctor and are well placed to complete questionnaires as a result.
This proposal would allow a wider pool of healthcare professionals to complete a driver’s medical questionnaire, reducing the burden on GPs and consultants [Julie Lennard, DVLA]
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.’
By law all drivers must meet the medical standards for fitness to drive and each year DVLA makes 500,000 medical licensing decisions. These decisions are often influenced by the information in questionnaires that have been completed by a driver’s doctor or consultant. If the DVLA opts to allow a range of healthcare professionals to complete questionnaires, the Road Traffic Act 1988 would have to amended.
Interested parties urged to take part
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.'
She added: ‘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.’
To find out more about the consultation – titled Amending the Road Traffic Act 1988 to allow registered healthcare professionals to complete DVLA medical questionnaires – visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/amending-the-road-traffic-act-1988-to-allow-registered-healthcare-professionals-to-complete-dvla-medical-questionnaires
The questionnaire takes about 25 minutes to complete.
Author: Ian A McMillan