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Health Professional Referral form – Driving Assessments
Patient self referral form – Driving Assessments

Our driving assessments are clinically led by skilled and trained Mobility Clinicians and Driving Advisers. Our Mobility Clinicians have professional backgrounds in Occupational Therapy or Physiotherapy, and our Driving Advisers are Department for Transport Approved Driving Instructors.

We offer driving assessments to drivers of all ages (from age 16 if you are in receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)) and to experienced drivers or provisional licence holders.

Referrals are accepted from Health Professionals and patients. Please complete one of the referral forms or contact us on 0191 287 5090 and email [email protected]

A short video about driving assessments

Your appointment with us will typically last between 2½ and 3 hours and is broken down into three sections:

Clinical assessment

Here the assessment team will speak with you about your medical and driving history, as well as listen to your concerns, hopes and expectations of the driving assessment.

We will need to see your driving licence, or letter from the DVLA confirming your entitlement to drive.

You will be asked to read a car number plate from the minimum distance as required by The Road Traffic Act 1988, which is 20 metres. If you need corrective spectacles or contact lenses to meet the standard, these must be worn for the driving assessment. If you are unable to read the number plate from the required distance, the assessment cannot proceed, therefore if you think you may have difficulty with this, it is vital that you visit your optician before your appointment with us.

There may be a basic physical assessment to better understand what adaptations, if any, may be useful to you.

There may be some paper-based tasks to assess cognitive ability in relation to driving.

Driving assessment

The Driving Assessment takes place in the centre’s own cars for safety reasons. We have a selection of different vehicles from standard manual and automatic, to those with adaptations.

The assessment will initially take place on the centre’s purpose-built private track area to allow you time to become familiar with the centre’s vehicle at your own pace. If you have chosen to attend an appointment at either our Carlisle or Tees Valley centre, this will take place on quite road areas.

If considered safe to do so, the assessment will then proceed onto public roads and will usually last for around 40 minutes. This enables the assessment team to assess your interaction with other road uses, how you forward plan, anticipate the actions of others and deal with the complexities of driving.

Some assessments may be restricted to the driving track area/quiet road area, and we may advise that you return for the on-road assessment at a later date, possibly after a period of tuition.

It is important to remember that your assessment is not a driving test and the assessment team are not looking for a perfect drive, just evidence of safe driving skills. You also have the right to withdraw from the process at any time.

Recommendations and advice

The assessment team will consider all aspects of your assessment and will take into consideration that you may be anxious or perhaps have not driven for a long period of time.

The possible outcomes of the assessment may be:

  • You are recommended as being suitable to drive with, or without vehicle adaptations.
  • You are recommended to return to North East Drive Mobility for review following a period of driving tuition. If this is the case, we can advise you on how to obtain suitable driving tuition.
  • You are recommended not to drive. Although we will always try to find ways for you to be able to drive safely, in the interest of road safety, the assessment team may recommend that you do not drive.

In the unfortunate event that you are advised not to drive, our team will offer you help, support and advice through our North East and Cumbria Hubs Mobility Advice Service.

Sam shared her experiences of a driving assessment at North East Drive Mobility on BBC Look North. You can watch the story below:

Points of You

I was very nervous before my assessment, but the staff were supportive, patient, very straightforward and clear.

Points of You feedback31.3.22

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