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Advice on returning to drive following illness or disability

If you have stopped driving, or are finding driving difficult because of a medical condition or disability, our service at North East Drive Mobility can help.

North East Drive Mobility is part of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and is also supported by the Department for Transport. 

We provide advice, including the legal aspects surrounding licencing issues and importantly, provide a comprehensive driving assessment and a recommendation as to whether you are ready to get back behind the wheel.  If you are currently driving, we can advise on your ability to continue driving safely and provide solutions where at all possible.

It may be difficult for you to know if you are ready to return to driving, or you may be unsure if your medical condition is having an effect on your driving - a driving assessment can help with this.  The team at North East Drive Mobility will consider all aspects of your driving, including medical fitness, vision, awareness, reactions, decision making and the physical ability to operate vehicle controls.

The driving assessment is comprehensive and after this the team may recommend that you resume driving, or possibly have a period of driving tuition and return for review assessment.  Although we will try to find ways for you to be able to drive safely, it is possible that we may have to recommend that you do not return to driving, or that further recovery time is needed.  However, whatever the recommendation, we will offer you support to help maximise your independence and mobility.

We have a range of vehicles, both manual and automatic and some are fitted with driver adaptations.  All vehicles are dual controlled and insured for the purpose of your assessment.

Image of driving track
There is a purpose-built driving track area in the grounds of the Centre at Walkergate Park and the time on the driving track is particularly useful for novice drivers or for people who have not driven for a lengthy period of time. 

In most cases we are able to continue the assessment on to the public roads.  This enables the team to assess your interaction with other road users, how you forward plan, anticipate the actions of others and deal with the complexities of driving.

We are looking for evidence of safe driving skills and whether your driving skills have been affected by your medical condition or disability.  The assessment is not a driving test.

Access to our service is straightforward, you can arrange an assessment by contacting us directly, or can be referred by your doctor or health professional.  It is important that you discuss how your medical condition may affect your driving with your GP as well as others involved in your rehabilitation.  We also receive requests from the DVLA to provide an independent driving assessment, where our report forms part of their licencing decision process.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like further information :-

Telephone :
0191 2875090
Email :
northeast.drivemobility@ntw.nhs.uk
Address :
North East Drive Mobility
Walkergate Park
Centre for Neurorehabilitation & Neuropsychiatry
Benfield Road
Newcastle upon Tyne,  NE6 4QD

The following links provide further information and advice :



Sharon Jowsey, 19 March 2018
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