AOP response to the DVLA consultation on widening the pool of healthcare professionals completing medical questionnaires

The AOP has responded to this consultation and supports an amendment to legislation to enable other healthcare professionals to complete relevant medical questionnaires.

Driving a car

DVLA are seeking views on potentially changing the law and amending the Road Traffic Act 1988 to enable healthcare professionals other than registered medical practitioners (doctors who are registered with the General Medical Council) to complete DVLA medical questionnaires.

Although the DVLA consultation did not include optometrists in its list of healthcare professionals who could be included to complete relevant medical questionnaires, the AOP has highlighted that optometrists are well placed to complete these forms both as a regulated healthcare profession, but also being best placed to assess the patient’s visual status, which is a crucial part of being able to drive safely.

In our view, this move could potentially reduce the administrative burden on GP colleagues and is in line with the DHSC aims of reducing bureaucracy. This will enable GPs to focus more time on seeing patients and less time on completing paperwork.

We have highlighted that this process will require funding for the optometrist’s time and that if this isn’t made available, there is a risk that this cost burden will fall to patients.