Working with doctors Working for patients



A few days later the practice receptionist, Mrs Campbell, comes in to see Dr Williams.

(The story so far...)

Mrs Jessop is becoming increasingly confused and forgetful, and this contributed to her having a car minor accident. She agreed with Dr Williams that she would stop driving while awaiting test results that would check for any physical condition that might be impairing her memory and concentration.

Mrs Campbell

Mrs Campbell

Dr Williams, sorry to bother you. I just thought I'd jump in before your next I right in thinking that you advised Mrs Jessop to stop driving?

Dr Williams

Dr Williams

Well...why do you ask?

Mrs Campbell

Mrs Campbell

It's just that she came in for a blood test this morning and I saw her getting into her car when she left about 10 minutes ago - she'd obviously driven to the appointment. She sped off before I could even think of saying anything to her, nearly drove into Mrs Rees and Christopher on the zebra crossing! Will you have to tell the police? It must be very hard for her getting about without her car. She's always so busy.

Dr Williams

Dr Williams

Driving may be important to her but...people have to take responsibility for their own fitness to drive. Thanks for letting me know Denise. I'll handle it from here.

What should the doctor do...? (Select A,B or C)


Do nothing - Mrs Jessop is legally responsible for telling the DVLA about any condition or treatment that impairs her fitness to drive?


Contact Mrs Jessop to remind her of their agreement that she would not drive until the test results came back?


Resolve to contact the DVLA but try to contact Mrs Jessop beforehand, to warn her of her intention to do so?

Dr Williams

See what the doctor did

Dr Williams made an urgent appointment to see Mrs Jessop. She emphasised again the importance of her refraining from driving until they could rule out the concern that she had a condition which could impair her fitness to drive. Dr Williams also reminded her that it was her - Mrs Jessop's - duty to inform the DVLA, and that she (Dr Williams) would have little alternative but to contact the DVLA herself with her concerns if Mrs Jessop failed to do so and continued to drive.


6. If a patient continues to drive when they may not be fit to do so, you should make every reasonable effort to persuade them to stop. As long as the patient agrees, you may discuss your concerns with their relatives, friends or carers.

7. If you do not manage to persuade the patient to stop driving, or you discover that they are continuing to drive against your advice, you should contact the DVLA or DVA immediately and disclose any relevant medical information, in confidence, to the medical adviser.

8. Before contacting the DVLA or DVA you should try to inform the patient of your decision to disclose personal information. You should then also inform the patient in writing once you have done so.
(Confidentiality: Reporting concerns about patients to the DVLA or to the DVA, paragraphs 6-8)