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New diabetes test will not apply to professional drivers

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has announced new guidelines offering drivers who treat their diabetes with insulin have greater choice in how they test their glucose levels.

The update means drivers can now choose to use flash and continuous glucose monitoring devices to take glucose readings before they drive, or during breaks in driving.

Until now, they have had to check their glucose levels with a finger prick blood reading no more than two hours before driving and then again on a break after every two hours of driving.

However, the DVLA has confirmed that the new guidelines only apply to car and motorcycle drivers who treat their diabetes with insulin. The requirements for glucose testing for bus and lorry drivers remain the same (finger prick blood reading).

Drivers who treat their diabetes with insulin must tell DVLA although this does not apply to those who treat their diabetes by diet only. If in any doubt, they should speak to their GP or a medical professional involved in their treatment.

The guidelines have been updated following discussions with the Secretary of State for Transport’s Honorary Medical Advisory Panel on driving and diabetes mellitus.

The panel consists of leading medical experts, DVLA doctors, lay members and observers from other organisations. It works together with the DVLA to provide expert advice with the aim of maintaining and improving road safety.

Nikki Joule, Policy Manager at Diabetes UK, said: “We look forward to keep on working with the DVLA to make sure people living with diabetes are treated fairly, and that everyone is able to hold a driving licence if they meet medical fitness standards.”

Credit: Croner-i


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