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AIO provides guidance to its members in respect of offering ‘paid for’ DVLA Field Tests

AIO provides guidance to its members in respect of offering ‘paid for’ DVLA Field Tests

The Association for Independent Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians (AIO) has issued guidance to its members in respect of providing DVLA Esterman Field Tests for their patients.

AIO is satisfied from a legal perspective that there is no basis in law for the DVLA to reject a Field Test undertaken by a qualified and registered optometrist, that is paid for by the patient.

In correspondence with the DVLA, AIO has established that full medical evidence has to be supplied to the DVLA and the guidance issued to members today sets out what AIO believes to meet the requirements set out in statute.

Dr Christian French, Chair of AIO commented ‘we have been rather surprised that the DVLA has almost seemed resistant to AIO’s initiative to give patients the option to pay for their own Field Test rather than visit a Specsavers store. Surely this should be every patient’s democratic right, on top of which it is saving taxpayers money.

Rather bizarrely, one point of resistance in correspondence with the DVLA stated ‘We do not routinely accept field tests from customers own optometrists due to the identity check element.’ That there should be an issue over identity in respect of a patient that has been with a practice for years, if not decades is surprising and AIO has asked for clarification on this issue. Logic would suggest that there would be much greater concerns in respect of identity for a patient visiting a Specsavers store for the first time.’

AIO is continuing its challenge with the Ministry for Transport, and through the Competition and Markets Authority in respect of the award of the DVLA contract in November 2019.