Introduction: Large numbers of patients attending accident and emergency (A&E) departments drive to and from the consultation. This audit set out to examine if patients attending A&E were advised about their fitness to drive.
Method: The authors carried out a retrospective audit over a one month period. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) booklet “At a glance guide to the current medical standards of fitness to drive” was used to derive a list of conditions that require driving restrictions. Any condition within these guidelines was audited. If the patient was discharged and diagnosed as having a condition requiring the patient to cease driving, the notes were scrutinised for any evidence that the doctor had given advice about driving.
Results: A total of 337 patients were discharged with conditions which may have required some restrictions to driving; 332 sets of notes were available. Twenty two patients needed restrictions to be placed on their driving. Only one patient had any documented evidence of the examining doctor informing them of restrictions to be placed on driving.
Conclusions: The study provides clear evidence that patients were not being informed about their fitness to drive following consultation in the authors’ A&E department. Previous studies have shown that doctors’ knowledge on driving restrictions is poor. Further education is needed for A&E doctors and patient information leaflets should be provided to explain the restrictions placed on a driver’s licence if they have certain illnesses.
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