In 2015, around 5740 accidents and 220 fatalities occurred on UK roads and involved drivers under the influence of alcohol.1 Following discussions amongst the gastroenterology team and Hospital Alcohol Liaison Team (HALT), at Southport Hospital it appears that fitness to drive advice is inconsistently given to patients with excess alcohol intake.Methods
The aim was to firstly assess if patients with a history of alcohol excess were being informed about their fitness to drive in accordance with national Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) guidelines. Then to introduce a simple aide memoire and document that the DVLA advice had been given. The standards used were the Current medical guidelines: DVLA guidance for professionals.2 Clinical notes were assessed for evidence of a discussion regarding fitness to drive and DVLA guidance for all patients with alcohol excess presenting to Southport hospital over a 2 week period and reviewed by HALT, who also performed the data collection. A label was then designed for insertion into the clinical records. This demonstrates that a patient was advised about their fitness to drive by the HALT nurses. Re-audit was performed by the medical staff by reviewing the clinical records of 30 different patients for evidence of the label.Results
Initial audit showed of the patients with alcohol excess (n=30), 14 (46.7%) patients were currently driving with 0 being informed about their fitness to drive. During the re-audit of the total patients with a history of alcohol excess (n=30), 11 (36.7%) patients were currently driving. 11 (100%) patients had documented evidence being informed about their fitness to drive in accordance with national DVLA guidelines in the form of a label. Ongoing driving was verbally confirmed by HALT for each patient.Conclusions
Patients with alcohol excess were not being informed about their fitness to drive in accordance with national DVLA guidelines. Introduction of our label has since resulted in an improvement in the number of patients informed about their fitness to drive and adherence with national guidance. Therefore, the use of a simple aide memoire has demonstrated improved compliance with DVLA guidance and potentially reduced the risk of alcohol-related driving incidents.