Greater than 200,000 motorists are awaiting medical assessments for driving licence functions, a medical doctors’ union has estimated, because it warned of the possibly “grave impression” on highway security if individuals bypass their GPs in favour of unbiased practitioners.
The British Medical Affiliation (BMA) has written to the Division of Transport calling for the Authorities to ensure a “safety-first” strategy on the subject of managing the backlog.
The union mentioned the variety of individuals ready is rising each month and warned that avoiding the queue by going to an unbiased practitioner brings with it the chance that, with out them having a full affected person historical past, medical situations may very well be, both deliberately or in any other case, performed down.
The BMA has written to Baroness Vere, Parliamentary Below Secretary of State on the Division for Transport, to voice its “considerations that this model of self-reporting is neither smart nor protected” and to name for an strategy that entails an individual’s GP.
The organisation additionally urged the authorities to be “sincere” with individuals in regards to the backlog and the way lengthy it’s going to take to be addressed.
The warning comes amid a backlog for motorists who submit paper functions to resume their driver’s licences due to industrial motion and ongoing social distancing necessities.
The Driver and Car Licensing Company (DVLA) mentioned final week that the majority paper functions for renewals “are prone to take six to 10 weeks to course of” however there could also be longer delays for “extra advanced transactions akin to those who require medical investigations”.
It added: “We’re sorry for any inconvenience induced however we’re working as rapidly as we are able to to take care of your utility.
“We obtain round 60,000 objects of mail every single day that must be opened and processed.”
The DVLA says there isn’t a delay to on-line functions and advises prospects to make use of its on-line providers “the place doable”.
Dr Peter Holden, BMA skilled charges committee chair, mentioned: “Throughout the nation, hundreds of drivers require medical ‘match to drive’ sign-off with a purpose to get hold of or renew their drivers’ licence.
“We all know that a few of these drivers, conscious of the present DVLA backlog, are bypassing the queue at their very own GP observe and going to 3rd social gathering registered medical practitioners.
“The problem right here is that solely a person’s GP practices has entry to a affected person’s full medical report, so solely they know whether or not or not that individual is match to drive.
“By looking for ‘sign-off’ from an unbiased practitioner, who solely has the affected person’s phrase to go by, there’s a danger that medical situations could also be, both deliberately or unintendedly, understated and this has already had a grave impression on highway security.
“With this in thoughts, the Authorities should guarantee that there’s a course of in place to contain an applicant’s GP.
“It’s also vital that the Authorities and DVLA are sincere with the general public relating to simply how lengthy this backlog will take to clear in order that expectations are managed, and sufferers don’t begin making a number of calls to their GP observe whereas they anticipate medical assessments.”
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