AOP calls for review of DVLA notifiable eye conditions list

The association expressed concerns over the potential impact the list could have, and shared guidance for members

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The AOP has highlighted concerns over guidance produced by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in regards to the eye conditions that must be declared by drivers, and has issued advice for members.

Chief executive of the AOP, Adam Sampson, called for “urgent action” including a review of the extended notifiable eye conditions list, which he suggested could apply to “almost every driver who receives a sight test.”

Concerns surfaced this week after the list was shared on the networking site, LinkedIn, where optometrists highlighted that several of the conditions listed would affect a large number of drivers, and identified the administrative burden this would place on the DVLA.

In a statement, Sampson said: “Practitioners are quite rightly deeply concerned about the impact the new rules will have. We raised the same concerns with the DVLA in August and have since followed up with further correspondence on the issue.”

“We believe that if the current guidance remains in place, almost every driver who receives a sight test will need to be advised to notify the DVLA,” he emphasised.

The AOP explained that it had outlined concerns in correspondence with the DVLA and expressed a willingness to support the review and publication of an updated list, in consultation with the agency’s medical panel.

“We’re urging the DVLA to take immediate steps to remedy the situation by reviewing the notifiable eye conditions list,” Sampson shared.

The association confirmed that it will write to the chief executive officer of the DVLA to call for action.

In its statement on the issue, the AOP has advised members to continue to exercise their professional judgement as they have previously.

Noting that optometrists already advise patients of any findings from a sight test, the AOP also pointed out that, in this instance, the responsibility to notify the DVLA rests with the patient.

“As this is a live issue, in our opinion there is not currently a risk that requires a modification to practice,” the association added.

The AOP said it will update its guidance once its concerns have been addressed and a final position confirmed by the DVLA.

OT has reached out to the DVLA for comment.

Update: This article was correct at the time of publishing. The AOP has since received confirmation from the DVLA that it will revise its list of notifiable eye conditions. Read more on this developing story.