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GPs risk lawsuits on lithium patients

GPs have been urged to report to the DVLA any alcohol-

dependent patient they suspect of continuing to drive ­ even if it means they stop coming for treatment.

The advice comes after research showed that the majority of alcoholic patients continued to drive after diagnosis.

In a survey of 56 patients in Glasgow with alcohol dependence, researchers found that 89 per cent continued to drive but only 14 per cent had been told to inform the DVLA of their condition.

A significant proportion of patients said they would be less likely to seek treatment once they had been told that GPs had an obligation to tell the DVLA.

Dr Mairi Scott, chair of RCGP Scotland, said GPs had to inform the DVLA. The study was published in Psychiatric Bulletin (March).

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