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Diabetics to lose driving licences after hypoglycaemic episodes

Patients with diabetes who have had more than one episode of hypoglycaemia in the previous year will no longer have their licences renewed, under new proposals by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

The change would mean that patients with recurrent severe hypoglycaemia or impaired awareness who may at present retain their licences, subject to GP opinion, would have them revoked.

The document gives a new definition of ‘severe recurrent hypoglycaemia', as more than one episode in a year that requires the assistance of another person. But it is proposed that restrictions on bus and lorry licences, which are currently only granted in exceptional circumstances, would be relaxed for patients who have had no hypoglycaemic episodes in the past 12 months and monitor their blood glucose twice a day.

The DVLA said the proposed changes were being made to harmonise UK law with that of the EU.

The consultation document said: ‘While current UK guidance is capable of implementing this standard, even at present, in practice it has previously been interpreted more flexibly.'