Part of the Driving Mobility charity network, Derby DrivAbility has recently showcased its driving assessment and mobility services to healthcare professionals and the general public.
Derby DrivAbility is located in a new custom-built centre and operates within the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust. Its Occupational Therapists (OTs), Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) ably supported by the Administration staff offer professional driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. Its first open day at the new premises provided the opportunity for professionals, families and disabled drivers to discover the range of services on offer and see the latest adaptations for assisted motoring.
The event was supported by specialist manufacturers demonstrating accessible and drive-from-wheelchair vehicles alongside adapted driving controls, car boot hoists and passenger solutions. Sirus Automotive, Allied Mobility, Des Gosling Mobility and Autochair were able to explain to attendees the value of their assistive solutions and how they work closely with Derby DrivAbility. Derby DrivAbility also appreciate the last minute support of N-tec Mobility who, despite not being able to attend, managed to provide two adapted vehicles for the day.
Visitors to the open day were able to discuss individual adapted driving needs on a one-to-one basis with the Derby DrivAbility representatives. Whether it was for personal needs, a provisional driver or client in care, visitors could view, assess and discuss the benefits and suitability of adapted controls and equipment such as left-foot accelerators, steering aids, assistive hand controls, ring accelerators and rotating passenger car seats and scooter/wheelchair hoists. There was also the opportunity to experience the static assessment rig at the centre which is used for clinical assessments and fitness-to-drive tests.
Liz Whiteman, Centre Manager/Lead Clinician comments: “I’m delighted that our first open day was a success. The atmosphere was positive and the Derby DrivAbility team engaged with a steady number of visitors throughout the day. It was fantastic to welcome back retired colleagues, friends and existing service users who have experienced a positive outcome and to meet healthcare professionals seeking guidance for their clients. We also welcomed families with teenage disabled children seeking assistance through to elderly drivers investigating easier ways to drive. The exhibits from external manufacturers added to the value of visiting – we would like to thank them for their support. On a lighter note, it was fun to watch the competitive side of many of our visitors in an attempt to see who could produce the quickest reaction times on the static assessment rig!”
Driving Mobility, supported by the Department for Transport
As a registered charity, Driving Mobility accredits a network of 20 driving assessment centres covering the whole of the UK. Many with outreach facilities, these centres include independent charities and NHS centres which offer professional information and assessment so disabled and elderly people can gain or retain independence.
Driving Mobility ensures that there are common standards, promotes good practice and offers training and education to all regional centres, whilst working closely with associated national organisations. These include the Department for Transport, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Driver and Vehicle Agency (NI), Motability, NHS Trusts and the Police, along with many more valued stakeholders.
Driving Mobility is supported by the Department for Transport and its patron Baroness Thomas of Winchester.