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Thread: DVLA appointed opticians

  1. #1

    DVLA appointed opticians

    Recently hubby had to renew photo part of his driving license. (July) As he suffers from diabetes, heart failure and other problems, which DVLA are aware of, a pile of forms were sent for him to fill in relating to his medical conditions. Also a field vision test with an appointed DVLA optician was asked for. After the struggle to get him to their optician, we waited, and waited. Letter arrived with us, saying that they now awaited a GP report, weeks went by, letter arrived saying they had not received that report. Another letter from DVLA arrived saying that they still had not received the report and that there was a delay processing at their end. Anyway, today 2 letters arrive from them. No report from the GP still and now to have another appointment with one of their appointed opticians, only this time at a hospital that is over 40 miles from us.
    I now wonder if this is really worth the hassle of trying to continue to renew it. Hubby does not drive these days, but was reluctant to give his license up, another part of his independence gone. It is a struggle to get him to local appointments due to his breathlessness, but it takes the biscuit having to travel such a distance. Previous appointments were done locally, one at the local hospital and one at Specsavers.
    Not aware of the result of that previous field vision test, but DVLA did not inform him to stop driving .
    Has anyone had any similar experiences or have any idea as to why they are now wanting him to attend an out of area hospital?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Have you ever instructed your GP to write the report?

    I believe you must give permission at your surgery before they will release (non driving related) medical history even to the DVLA, or if your GP is uncertain of your husbands medical history they may not be willing to write a report.

    I've never heard of anyone having to go to a DVLA appointed optician, and perhaps the hospital now has the only specialist they can rely on? I'm not sure, but you could ask them straight and suggest to them a local one would suit better due to disabilities.

    Perhaps even mention the Equality Act and whether they will be willing to pay the taxi fees for the journey or you could see the local optician again.

    Sorry I can't be of any more help.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    If all DVLA want is confirmation that there is no impairment of visual fields, I'm a little surprised that DVLA will not accept a report from any ophthalmic optician or doctor with access to a recognised visual field testing device, though it might be down to who they have a contractual relationship with.

    It might be that DVLA have decided they want your husband to see an ophthalmologist who reports on vision and driving for a fuller investigation into his vision, hence the appointment at the out of area hospital.


    All DVLA medical questionnaires contain the declaration:

    I authorise my Doctor(s) and Specialist(s) to release reports/medical information about my condition relevant to my fitness to drive, to the Secretary of State’s medical adviser.

    I authorise the Secretary of State to disclose such relevant medical information as may be necessary to the investigation of my fitness to drive, to Doctors, Orthoptists, Paramedical staff or Officers of the Secretary of State.

    I declare that I have checked the details I have given on the enclosed questionnaire and that, to the best of my knowledge and belief they are correct.

    "I understand that it is a criminal offence if I make a false declaration to obtain a driving licence and can lead to prosecution."
    Of course, it's possible for a doctor to dispute that the information DVLA are seeking is relevant to fitness to drive, in which case they might want explicit permission from the patient before disclosing that information. As Paul says, it's also possible that the GP feels unable to write the report sought by DVLA because they don't know your husband well enough or don't have enough information to answer the questions asked. It might be worth getting in touch with the surgery to enquire what is happening about DVLA's request for information.

    If your husband feels it is all too much at this time, Dianne, he can voluntarily surrender his licence, which allows him to recover his entitlement in the future if DVLA are satisfied he meets the medical standards to drive.


    My experiences with Drivers Medical Branch are that they can be awfully slow and procedure bound, though it depends on the complexity of the case.

    My father recently disclosed a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnoea. He downloaded the relevant medical questionnaire from gov.uk, filled it in and returned it with a copy of his most recent hospital letter which confirmed he had been given a CPAP machine and the data from the machine confirmed he was complying with the treatment programme. Drivers Medical Branch wrote back a few weeks later stating that my father met the medical standards to drive and his 'until 70' licence would remain in place (though he's 70 in a year's time and will have to renew then).

  4. #4
    Many thanks for your replies.
    My hubby had the tests that were requested by the DVLA in August, at their appointed optician which was Specsavers. I thought that if the DVLA had been unhappy with that result they would have asked him to stop driving in the meantime.
    As it happens, after a long discussion with me, he has decided not to renew. Mainly because all the hassle involved with the travel to this appointment. Taxis would cost around £80 and DVLA will not cover travel costs, only the appointment itself. As he is suffering from heart failure and rarely goes out due to breathlessness, we feel that the journey will be too much to endure.
    It is just a pity that the DVLA could not have asked for his own consultant ophthalmologist on his view as whether fit to drive or not, as for our GP, he has never met her, only sees other GP partners if he needs an emergency appointment as all his medical conditions have been specialist appointments. Therefore none know him .
    Once again thanks for the replies.

  5. #5
    everest
    Guest
    Don't give up DianneT. I went thorough the same and the DVLA person said to me, that they make the process to difficult so they are sure the person is fit to drive and that those who know that they won't pass the test drop out. Which basically means they want people to drop out.

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