More non-GPs, such as chiropractors, opticians and midwives, will be able to submit fitness-to-drive medical evidence to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
Currently, only doctors registered with the GMC can give evidence to the DVLA to help with decisions on whether an individual with a medical condition is fit to drive.
The Department for Transport’s (DfT) legislative reform order (LRO), which can amend legislation without needing a Parliamentary Bill, will allow medical practitioners from the following bodies to give information to the DVLA:
- The General Chiropractic Council
- The General Optical Council
- The General Osteopathic Council
- The Nursing and Midwifery Council
- The Health and Care Professions Council
The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee green-lighted the proposals at the end of June.
In phase one of the plan, the DVLA will still have to seek information from GMC-registered doctors, but doctors will now be able to recommend that the DVLA also obtains input from practitioners from the other five fields.
In phase two, patients will contact the more relevant health professional – and not their GP – for them to give evidence to the DVLA.
The BEIS committee’s report said the move will ‘remove a burden which currently rests solely with doctors and will provide greater flexibility to individual GP surgeries and hospital teams’.
BEIS committee chair Darren Jones said: ‘The committee agrees with the aims of this draft LRO and that it will save doctors’ time and help simplify the bureaucracy of fitness-to-drive tests.
‘However, we have concerns about the way this policy will be rolled out across the country, and we have written to DfT for assurances about these points.’
The Government previously consulted on the proposed changes.
This story was initially published on our sister title Pulse.
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