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New GMC guidance on disclosure

Doctor's duty to disclose information to the DVLA

25 Nov 2015

There’s been widespread coverage of draft guidance from the General Medical Council (GMC) today stating that doctors must inform the DVLA (or DVA in Northern Ireland) if a patient continues to drive against medical advice and fails to do this themselves. The proposed new guidance from the GMC emphasises a doctor’s duty to disclose information to the DVLA or DVA, where the patient has failed to act.

AOP advice on driving and the DVLA

Our legal and regulatory team will be reviewing our advice on this topic. Geoff Roberson, AOP Professional Adviser, said: “The GMC haven't at the moment changed their guidance just emphasised the breach of confidentiality aspect of it and our current guidance doesn't conflict with this.” 

Protecting patient confidentiality

As a practitioner, you should respect and protect patient confidentiality at all times. But in some exceptional instances disclosing patient information might be appropriate. If a patient no longer meets the visual standard to hold a driving licence, but refuses to stop driving, you may need to let the DVLA know, but only once you’ve sought advice from the AOP because protecting your patient’s confidentiality is paramount.

There’s more information about disclosing patient information to the DVLA on our website. If you have a query on this, contact our legal and regulatory team at legal@aop.org.uk or call 020 7549 2020.