A new report suggests that the DVLA is not making fair decisions within its medical fitness to drive tests which are taken by people with diabetes.
The report comes from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman which said that a number of cases had shown ‘major failings’ in how eight of the cases were handled.
People with diabetes on insulin or that have significant diabetes complications that may affect their driving need to go through the DVLA’s medical fitness to drive assessment.
Complications that can affect people’s ability to drive include some forms of heart disease, stroke and visual impairment.
The BBC reports that Francis Leigh is one person whose case was handled poorly. She had suffered a stroke that hadn’t resulted in symptoms. The DVLA had not followed the proper processes and had denied Frances from having a driving licence.
When her case was finally resolved, she was compensated £40,000 for the extra expenses and inconveniences she’d had to take on during the years she was without a licence.
Francis told of her difficulty in getting to work and holding down a job without her licence and how the DVLA had changed and destroyed evidence during her trial with them, which was confirmed by the Ombudsman’s report.
Diabetes.co.uk has previously reported on people with diabetes having had trouble with their appeals against licences being revoked.
Members of the forum have also voiced their dismay over how their cases have been handled including delays lasting many weeks before their case would be reviewed.
Chief executive of the DVLA, Oliver Morley, accepts that mistakes have been made: “These eight very complex cases, however, date back to 2009 and since then the vast majority of the four million cases we’ve handled have been dealt with swiftly and correctly.
“We have already made a number of improvements including more effective ways of managing cases, taking on more staff and introducing a new online service where drivers can tell us about their medical conditions.”

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