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DVLA medical commission ignoring NHS consultant opinion


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Hi,

 

I am new here and hope to find somebody who can help me.

 

I had an EU driving licence which expired last month. when I applied for the UK driving licence I had to declare a medical condition which I had six year ago but that it is no longer something I suffer from, infact I have been off medication for a couple of years and I am not under the supervision of any doctors.

the NHS consultant I saw for driving licence wrote a letter summarising the history of the problem and attesting that I met all the criteria for fitness to drive, and discharged me with no further appointments or care required.

 

After 5 weeks since I applied for the UK license the DVLA had received the medical questionnaire and the letter from the consultant (which starts by saying "I see no reason why she should not drive a vehicle), and have said that my case has been referred to a DVLA doctor who has to check that my condition meets the criteria above. and that this is not going to happen before January next year, which seems like a very long time to not have a license.

 

I have tried to get more information but they are just rude, robotic call centre people who wind you up, and repeat that they have to deal with cases from all the UK.

 

I wanted to try the complaint procedure or possibly to look at getting professional legal advice. I can't understand why when an NHS specialist consultant has written to the DVLA to say I can drive, it should have to go to their doctor who can't respond until January. I can drive under the law section 88 road traffic act 1988 but I do not feel confident without the driving licence. plus I cannot go to visit family abroad with my baby as is illegal there going around without driving licence with you.

 

has anyone had any similar experiences? any advice would be much appreciated.

 

thanks

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Although the consultant has said that he considers you fit to drive the decision rests with the DVLA. It's for that reason that your case has been referred to their medical advisers. The timescale you've been given is broadly the same as I was given when I went through this earlier in the year. That said the 4 months they quoted me turned out to be 3 weeks, so there is hope.

 

As you've found out you can't talk to the medical advisers, only to the front line staff. However your consultant or your GP (if he has the full facts) can phone the medical advisers so that might be a course worth pursuing.

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You could also take the matter to a Magistrates Court or a better bet may be your MP. DVLA are, literally a law unto themselves and have the public safety at the heart of their work

 

No you couldn't. Stop posting misinformation please.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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  • 1 month later...

I hope by now they have made a decision. You may be interested to read the OMBUDSMAN'S REPORT "Driven to Despair" I cannot post a link, but you will find it under Ombudsman+Driven to Despair.

 

This highlights the fact that the DVLA have in the past, and obviously continue to over-rule Specialist consultant's advice. In my case, the assumption of a gynaecologist, GP and geriatrician on a question of vision over-ruled the specialist Opthomologist from Moorfields .

 

The Ombudsman's report was laid before Parliament on 20 October. DVLA are still refusing to comply to two of her findings, one of which you might find very interesting. The case handling of DVLA has been highlighted as one of the points for consideration. If you have not received your license, I suggest you read the report and quote it to them. (Do remember always to keep a copy of correspondence and sent it recorded delivery, as they have been know to destroy important evidence, even if it is needed for a Court Appeal - see Ombudsman's report. It will be difficult to raise an Appeal through the Courts until they have actually refused your license. However, there is no harm in taking the Ombudsman's report to your MP, along with your complaint, as the DVLA are now going to be answerable to Parliament, so the more complainants that speak up the better. There are others out there who have been treated in a similar way, and as Dame Julie Mellor the Ombudsman says, they are being denied justice.

I really sympathise with you. My case took seven years to sort out, and a lot of money - all, fortunately refunded as a result of this Report. Stick with it. Good luck!

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I hope by now they have made a decision. You may be interested to read the OMBUDSMAN'S REPORT "Driven to Despair" I cannot post a link, but you will find it under Ombudsman+Driven to Despair.

 

This highlights the fact that the DVLA have in the past, and obviously continue to over-rule Specialist consultant's advice. In my case, the assumption of a gynaecologist, GP and geriatrician on a question of vision over-ruled the specialist Opthomologist from Moorfields .

 

The Ombudsman's report was laid before Parliament on 20 October. DVLA are still refusing to comply to two of her findings, one of which you might find very interesting. The case handling of DVLA has been highlighted as one of the points for consideration. If you have not received your license, I suggest you read the report and quote it to them. (Do remember always to keep a copy of correspondence and sent it recorded delivery, as they have been know to destroy important evidence, even if it is needed for a Court Appeal - see Ombudsman's report. It will be difficult to raise an Appeal through the Courts until they have actually refused your license. However, there is no harm in taking the Ombudsman's report to your MP, along with your complaint, as the DVLA are now going to be answerable to Parliament, so the more complainants that speak up the better. There are others out there who have been treated in a similar way, and as Dame Julie Mellor the Ombudsman says, they are being denied justice.

I really sympathise with you. My case took seven years to sort out, and a lot of money - all, fortunately refunded as a result of this Report. Stick with it. Good luck!

 

I don't disgaree, but could you comment on what I might suggest / ask as clarifications?.

 

a) Don't use Recorded Delivery : DVLA can 'sign en masse' for these, leading Royal Mail to sometimes say it has been delivered, or sometimes leave it as 'this item is progressing through our system', but both situations without a signature on delivery. Recorded Delivery is not a 'guaranteed delivery' service ; for items of this importance / need for 'traceability' ; use Special Delivery. At least if they don't get a signature for it, you can resend it (from the photocopies you've kept!), at Royal Mail's cost (as you get your Special Delivery fee refunded if they don't get a signature), until Royal Mail get DVLA to sign for it!.

 

b) DVLA told me there is no ability to complain to their Chief Executive: there is. (The Complaints team told me that the only appeal is to the Complaints team, even if the complaint included complaining about them!)

 

c) DVLA told me there is no ability to complain (via your MP) to the Secretary of State for Transport : there is. I'm not sure how much use it is, but anything that makes them more uncomfortable with unreasonable delay / decisions they'll struggle to defend on scrutiny .....

 

d) DVLA told me there is no ability to complain (via your MP) to the Ombudsman (the Parliamentary Ombudsman). There is.

 

b, c, and d are useful when they haven't refused a license but aren't showing any sign of reaching a decision in a reasonable timeframe (so you are in limbo and can't launch a court appeal until they actually refuse).

 

e) Once they refuse, any appeal is to a Magistrates Court. I couldn't find much if any discussion of people actually going to court, and 2 long-serving Magistrates (from different benches, one a professional driver [a London 'cabbie'] as his day job!) I asked about this ('on spec') had both never heard such a case, or heard of colleagues having done so.

When asked if there was a difference of opinion between DVLA's team and a specialist they would enquire if any of the DVLA team were also specialists in that area. They weren't aware of DVLA's having published guidelines for medical professionals!

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/526635/assessing-fitness-to-drive-a-guide-for-medical-professionals.pdf

but when I pointed it out and then specifically asked; said they would ask the DVLA team and the specialist whose opinions varied "does the driver meet DVLA's published standards, and if not why not?", asking each to comment on the other's reply ........

 

Did you ever get an actual refusal or did they keep stalling?, and (if refused) did you appeal to a Magistrate's Court?

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Hi,

 

 

I had an EU driving licence which expired last month.

 

Can you get this (EU license) renewed?. My understanding is that that then would allow you to drive in the UK for up to a year after arrival, and might solve your 'can't drive abroad' problem.

 

After 5 weeks since I applied for the UK license the DVLA had received the medical questionnaire and the letter from the consultant (which starts by saying "I see no reason why she should not drive a vehicle), and have said that my case has been referred to a DVLA doctor who has to check that my condition meets the criteria above. and that this is not going to happen before January next year, which seems like a very long time to not have a license.

 

I have tried to get more information but they are just rude, robotic call centre people who wind you up, and repeat that they have to deal with cases from all the UK.

 

I wanted to try the complaint procedure or possibly to look at getting professional legal advice. I can't understand why when an NHS specialist consultant has written to the DVLA to say I can drive, it should have to go to their doctor who can't respond until January. I can drive under the law section 88 road traffic act 1988 but I do not feel confident without the driving licence. plus I cannot go to visit family abroad with my baby as is illegal there going around without driving licence with you.

 

has anyone had any similar experiences? any advice would be much appreciated.

 

thanks

 

Would renewing your previous EU license help?. If DVLA haven't reached a decision within a year, it would be clear they are unreasonably not making a decision, denying you an appeal of a refusal.........

Within the year you'd be covered by S 88 (and your EU license?) until DVLA reach a decision, AND be able to drive abroad on your EU license.....

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TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS (as best I can)

 

a)Good idea - my point was really to make sure that people had some sort of record of correspondence and postage.

 

b) Complaints (as I did it): through their complaints procedure (6 months time limit from revocation to launch appeal through Magistrates Court to CEO to ICA to MP to OMBUDSMAN

 

c) That may be right; you had (when I did it) to go through the Complaints team which took you to CEO then ICA.

 

d) There absolutely IS - When I did it, you had to have the approval of the MP, who would place the complaint before the Ombudsman. My MP was extremely helpful! I cannot speak too highly of the Ombudsman's handling of the case. For years I felt like a small voice shouting as loudly as I could for justice, and no-one was listening until my case arrived on the Ombudsman's doorstep.

 

e) I went through Magistrates Court. DVLA caused two adjournments and were subject to two court orders for non-disclosure of crucial information which was required for my case. They had destroyed it, knowing the appeal was running, we subsequently found out. (See Ombudsman's report) The whole procedure cost me a lot of money - I am not surprised people don't take it as far as the Courts - faced with such a monetary outlay and a defensive/obstructive agency, it is easy to see whey complainants just give up .

 

In answer to you last question. yes, yes and yes.

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e) I went through Magistrates Court. DVLA caused two adjournments and were subject to two court orders for non-disclosure of crucial information which was required for my case. They had destroyed it, knowing the appeal was running, we subsequently found out. (See Ombudsman's report) The whole procedure cost me a lot of money - I am not surprised people don't take it as far as the Courts - faced with such a monetary outlay and a defensive/obstructive agency, it is easy to see whey complainants just give up .

 

In answer to you last question. yes, yes and yes.

 

Thank you.

 

Sorry to ask more questions, but it is rare to find someone with actual experience of a Magistrates Court appeal against a DVLA refusal!

 

i) How long did DVLA keep you waiting before refusing a licence?

ii) Group 1 or 2 entitlement?

iii) Did you use a solicitor?

iv) If so, were they a "motoring specialist"?

v) did the Magistrates seem more open to listening to your specialist or DVLA?

vi) did the Magistrates order DVLA to reconsider their decision? Issue you a license?

(My understanding is that they can't order DVLA to issue a license, only reconsider the refusal, although functionally the latter will cause the former to happen unless DVLA can bring forward new grounds on which to refuse!)

vii) Did DVLA's own medical standard document seem to influence the court?

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Happy to help if I can

 

Answers to your questions

1) Statutory one year off the road (during which time I surrendered my license. I should have been told by the DVLA that I might be elegible to be treated as an exceptional case, (see Ombudsman's report) but wasn't. If I had known, I would have not surrendered voluntarily.

2) Can't remember which is which, but I am just an ordinary driver - not HGV or business

3) Initially, to the Court Appeal yes. Thereafter - ICA/MP/OMBUDSMAN No.

4) Yes

5) Didn't get that far - as I said crucial evidence needed for my case "went missing" (was destroyed by DVLA - see Ombudsman's report). Therefore two adjournments and I finally ran out of money and took the MP/Ombudsman route and offered to take another driving test. I doubt whether the Magistrates have the power to issue a license.

6) See above

7) I will never know. The DMG changed their evidence after the first adjournment and having by then seen my Specialist's report. They presented new evidence for their decision, which had not been recorded on their system at the time of making the decision on my revocation (see Ombudsman's report). After this behaviour I abandoned my appeal and took it further.

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