Fitness to Drive – Reporting Concerns to the DVLA/DVA


Fitness to Drive – Reporting Concerns to the DVLA/DVA:

The General Medical Council has released guidance for doctors in relation to ‘Confidentiality: patients’ fitness to drive and reporting concerns to the DVLA/DVA’. The guidance states that patients may often avoid reporting symptoms to doctors, if they think their personal information may be disclosed by doctors without consent, or without the chance to have some control over the timing of the amount of information shared.

However, doctors and nurses decisions on fitness to drive are important, and although clinicians owe a duty of confidentiality to their patients, they also have a wider duty to protect the health of patients and the public. This explanatory guidance sets out the steps clinicians should take if a patient’s failure or refusal to stop driving might lead to a risk of serious harm to the patient or to the general public.  Clinicians should ask for a patients consent to disclose information.  If the patient refuses consent, disclosing personal information may be justified in the public interest.  The benefits to the individual need to be weighed up against the risks of death or serious injury.  Find out more at:

Healthwork Advice and Discussion:

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in England, Scotland and Wales and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland are legally responsible for deciding if a person is medically fit or unfit to drive. This means they need to know if a person holding a driving licence has a condition or is undergoing treatment that may now, or in the future, affect their safety as a driver. The driver is legally responsible for telling the DVLA or DVA about any such condition or treatment.

Clinicians should therefore alert patients to conditions and treatments that might affect their ability to drive and remind them to tell the appropriate agency.   In rare circumstances, the clinician may need to disclose personal information and breach confidentiality in the public interest.

Healthwork clinicians are well versed with the GMC guidance.  Our clinicians perform various fitness to drive assessments, and safety critical medicals.  We employ occupational health nurses and physicians who have all been fully trained in medical assessments and ethical issues.  Healthwork can perform and assist our customers with safety critical medicals, fork lift truck driver medicals, heavy goods vehicle and PSV statutory driver medicals, crane driver medicals and train driver medicals.

If you would like further details on how Healthwork could assist you in this area, visit our website or alternatively contact us on 0161 831 9701.