Doctors urged to reveal unfit drivers

November 25, 2015 | By | In News

Doctors have been urged to let the DVLA know if any of their patients are driving while not being medically fit to do so.

GPs have been told that to protect individuals and the wider public, that they need to balance both their legal and ethical duties of confidentiality.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the GMC, said: “Doctors often find themselves in challenging situations.

“This is difficult territory – 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.

“A confidential medical service is a public good and trust is an essential part of the doctor-patient relationship.”

The guidance, which is still in the draft stage, tells doctors that they have a public duty to inform the authorities if they know of any patients who are driving when unfit to do so. They do not need a patient’s consent to do this.

Dickson added: “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.”

In response, Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation said: “Thirty-seven million drivers depend on the car for getting about and for those with serious medical conditions there is a real fear around losing their licence.”

Jack Evans

By

After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.

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