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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the time taken by the Driver and Licensing Agency to reissue driving licences which have been withdrawn on medical grounds.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) deals with more than 600,000 medical cases every year. The length of time taken to deal with an application depends on the medical condition and whether further information is required from medical professionals.
The DVLA has made major improvements in this area, including introducing an electronic service which allows drivers to notify the DVLA online about certain medical conditions. The DVLA has recruited 100 extra casework staff as well as more doctors to deal with complex cases. Three nurses have also been employed to help deal with certain cases and further recruitment is underway.
A dedicated team has been put in place which is responsible for continuous improvement of medical driver licensing services and communications. Letters to customers and medical professionals have been improved, helping to ensure that the DVLA receives the information it needs as quickly as possible.
These changes have produced significant and sustainable improvements. A licensing decision took an average of 37 working days to be made between April and December 2016 for all medical cases. This is down from 53 working days between April 2015 and March 2016.