Charity welcomes General Medical Council’s strengthening of guidelines to doctors on reporting medically ‘unfit’ drivers to DVLA

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Brake, the road safety charity

Contact: news@brake.org.uk

The General Medical Council (GMC) has today (25 November) issued strengthened guidelines to all doctors emphasising their duty to disclose information to the DVLA or DVA (Northern Ireland), where the patient has failed to act. It’s a shift that’s welcomed by road safety charity, Brake, which has long called for greater clarity from the GMC.

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake, said: “This is a positive move by the GMC, which will clarify the responsibilities and duties of both doctor and patient. We do recognise that, previously, doctors have been in a difficult position regarding confidentiality of their patients but the guidance makes it clear that this confidentiality is not absolute.”

“I would appeal to all drivers to ensure that they do declare any medical conditions that could prevent them from driving safely to the DVLA/DVA. If they fail to do so, they will pose a continuing risk to themselves and other road users.”

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the General Medical Council, said: “We are clear that doctors carrying out their duty will not face any sanction – and this new guidance makes clear that we will support those who are faced with these difficult decisions.”

Note to Editors

Brake campaigns on a number of related issues:

Tiredness/Sleep apnoea http://www.brake.org.uk/campaigns/other-campaigns/wake-up http://www.brake.org.uk/info-and-resources/facts-advice-research/road-safety-facts/15-facts-a-resources/facts/486-sleep-apnoea

Eyesight http://www.brake.org.uk/campaigns/other-campaigns/sharpen-up

Age http://www.brake.org.uk/info-and-resources/facts-advice-research/road-safety-advice/21-facts-a-resources/resources/292-older

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.