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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:35 am 
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St Helens Council amends 'fit and proper' test for taxi drivers

https://www.sthelensstar.co.uk/news/177 ... l-changes/

CHANGES have been made to the process that determines whether someone is a “fit and proper” person to hold a taxi licence, following concerns from GPs.

All taxi drivers in England are required to undertake a fit and proper test in order to hold a license.

The majority of licensing authorities switched to the DVLA model of ‘Group 2’ medicals a number of years ago, which is a crucial element of the test.

Medicals are carried out by a GP, although this does not have to be the driver’s own GP provided, they have access to their medical records.

A range of conditions are covered by the medical including Neurology, Cardiovascular, diabetes, psychiatric disorders, visual disorders and renal and respiratory disorders.

The medical is carried out once for under 45s, every five years for drivers aged 45 to 65 and annualy for over 65s.

It is the responsibility of the driver to notify the local authority’s licensing department of a change in medical circumstances which may affect their ability to drive.

Late last year, St Helens, Knowsley and Halton councils all received a letter from the Mid Mersey Local Medical Committee requesting if it could discuss the forms the councils use for the medicals.

Following talks with Mid Mersey LMC, it was agreed that St Helens would table an item for discussion at the Liverpool City Region licensing managers’ meeting.

At the meeting in February, it was agreed that if any changes were to be made, then they would be adopted across the whole city region, in line with existing partnership working.

The issue raised by Mid Mersey LMC focused on the final page of the assessment, which asks the GP carrying out the assessment if the individual meets the Group 2 medical standards or not.

The GPs felt this left them open to legal challenge so requested that this question be removed from the form, giving licensing authorities the ultimate responsibility of approving the fitness of a driver.

On Wednesday, St Helens Council’s licensing and environmental protection committee agreed to the change.

A council report says that detailed DVLA guidance around medicals contains a great amount of useful information that is simple to understand.

As such, the regional licensing managers agreed that they would be competent in carrying out the final decision of whether the applicant is fit and proper in terms of medical assessment

Lorraine Simpson, St Helens Council’s licensing manager, said: “We wanted the city region to stay together on the changes we were making, so all six authorities have made the changes to the form.

“The GP still signs every page and every important section and essentially, if the GP was to report anything on any of those sections, it’s likely we wouldn’t grant the licence anyway because they would have already expressed a concern.”


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:38 am 
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Quote:
The issue raised by Mid Mersey LMC focused on the final page of the assessment, which asks the GP carrying out the assessment if the individual meets the Group 2 medical standards or not.

The GPs felt this left them open to legal challenge so requested that this question be removed from the form, giving licensing authorities the ultimate responsibility of approving the fitness of a driver.


Hate to say I told you so, but this is more or less the issue I outlined last year in a thread about Group 2 medicals in Scotland :-o

Last year I wrote:
At a rough guess part of the problem may be that the GPs are used to the DVLA's procedure, thus may be a bit disorientated by the LA's requirements, particularly if there's been communications problems.

Suspect too that there's an element of the LA trying to put the onus on the GPs as regards drivers being medically fit, whereas the GPs will be trying to do the opposite and leaving the onus on the LA. They will always have been sensitive to that kind of thing - effectively trying to lessen the blame that they'll attract if things go wrong - but no doubt a lot more sensitive about it all after the Harry Clark bin lorry thing in Glasgow.

In fact that's very probably the reason why yours and other LAs are beefing up their medical standards.

But at the end of the day it's ultimately for LAs to decide whether the driver is fit and proper, but it's hardly a surprise that they'd prefer the onus to be on the GPs, and vice versa.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:02 pm 
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The medical is carried out once for under 45s, every five years for drivers aged 45 to 65 and annualy for over 65s.

ours are every 3 years AND it definitely isn't a full group 2 medical :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:48 pm 
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Down here if the GP indicates any concern that concern is forwarded to the council's Chief Medical Adviser, who has the final say.

I think it works well as the final decision is independent of your local GP, and licensing officials.

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