Comments Russell Young, CEO, International Glaucoma Association (IGA):
“The IGA is extremely concerned that a fault with one of the machines used to assess a person’s fitness to drive will have led to some people with glaucoma having their driving licence wrongly revoked. The DVLA requires a visual field test to assess whether a driver with glaucoma is safe to drive.
“Relinquishing a driving licence is an emotional issue that can have a major impact on the driver’s quality of life. For some it can mean loss of employment and for many it means the loss of independence.
“We know people with glaucoma find the DVLA visual field test difficult and stressful. The equipment varies across testing optometrists and is different to the usual visual field test patients experience in hospitals. It is vital people have absolute confidence in this test. It has to be carried out on equipment that has been scrupulously tested, be supervised by qualified people and carried out in a quiet location, without interruptions, to provide the applicant with the best chance of taking and passing the test.
“The DVLA has advised the IGA that all those affected have been contacted and offered a re-test on a different machine. We urge anyone that has been notified to take up this offer to see if their licence can be reinstated.
“We will continue to work with the DVLA to follow up on this issue, and to see what more can be done to improve the experience of people with glaucoma when re-applying for their licence.”
The International Glaucoma Association is the charity for people with glaucoma, providing a free helpline and patient literature. Call 01233 64 81 70 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. www.glaucoma-association.com
For further information about the test equipment and the action that DVLA is taking please contact the DVLA press office on 01792 78 20 77.
For press enquiries please contact: Karen Brewer, 01233 64 81 69 or mobile: 07976 08 52 40