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Part-Funded by the Welsh Assembly Government

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THE SERVICE


The Wales Mobility & Driving Assessment Service is a registered charity receiving a Welsh Assembly grant under Section 64 of the Health Service and Public Health Act 1968. The grant provided meets the Services core running costs; therefore all capital related costs are generated from fees charged for the provision of services.
 
The Charity is an accredited member of the Forum of Mobility Centres UK which is an umbrella organisation made up of seventeen member centres. The Forum sets administrative and professional standards and represents its members at a UK and European level keeping all members informed of developments within our profession.
 
The Charity operates nationally and has its main office based at Rookwood Hospital in Cardiff, and operates an outreach service at the South Pembrokeshire Community Hospital, Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire.
 
The North Wales Centre is based at Glan Clwyd Hospital in Denbighshire and operates an outreach service at the Montgomery County Infirmary in Newtown, Powys and in the spinal injury unit, Oswestry.
 
The overall service is managed by the Director based in South Wales supported by Centre Managers in the north and south mobility centres.

 

 

SERVICE OFFERED



The service offers both driver and passenger assessments that aim to provide the client with a long-term mobility solution. The driving assessment is not a driving test. The aim of the assessment is to evaluate the physical and cognitive ability of the individual to drive a motor vehicle in safety and comfort. Clients are assessed on a static assessment rig (SAR) for their reaction times, steering strengths and to determine what adaptations (if any) are required. Clients are then assessed in an adapted vehicle tailored for their needs in off-road and on-road situations. A report and relevant leaflets and information are sent to the client within 10 days of the assessment.

turnout-user-car_printPassenger assessments are undertaken for clients who experience difficulties with access to and from a vehicle, the Centre’s have a wide range of equipment that may reduce or eliminate the physical effort involved during transfers.


The Centre’s also provide a free information and advice service and can advise on a range of issues including DVLA, legislation, Motability schemes, driver tuition, vehicle adaptation firms, insurance companies, and much more.
 
The South and North Wales mobility centres organise Open Days and hold demonstration sessions for clinical staff and students. Assessment staff visit other organisations as requested giving information and talks to members involved in the field of rehabilitation.

 

 

 REASONS FOR CONTACTING THE SERVICE


  • To determine your ability to drive a motor vehicle
  • For current impartial information and advice on vehicle choice and adaptation
  • People of all ages with mobility problems
  • Families with disabled relatives who require advice on vehicles and equipment to travel in comfort and safety

 

Or if you experience any difficulty with the following:

 

  • Safe control of a vehicle
  • Physical or cognitive fatigue
  • Vehicle entry and exit
  • Stowage of equipment, such as wheelchairs, scooters etc.
  • Lack of confidence following a period of abstinence from driving

 

 

DRIVER ASSESSMENTS

Driving assessment is not a driving test. The aim of this assessment is to evaluate the physical and cognitive ability of the individual to drive a motor vehicle in safety and comfort.

 

For clients who experience a physical disability our Centre’s have a wide range of adapted vehicles to suit the individual’s specific requirements.

 

In order to have a full driving assessment you must be in possession of a current driving licence and be able to read a standard vehicle number plate at a distance of 20 metres. You must not have had an epileptic seizure or blackout within the preceding 12 month period.

 

The assessment process is undertaken as follows

 

  • An initial interview discussing your medical condition, personal circumstances and licence details
  • A physical assessment to determine what controls are most suitable for you to use. This will also determine any pain or discomfort you are experiencing driving in the conventional way and whether you have any co ordination problems
  • A vision test by asking you to read a number plate at the legal required distance and testing on Keystone Vision Equipment
  • If your medical diagnosis suggests a cognitive assessment is required this will be undertaken by an Occupational Therapist and is a series of pen and paper tests that evaluate
  • Memory
  • Attention / Concentration
  • Executive thinking skills
  • Visual perception
  • Speech and language

 

  • At the Cardiff centre you will be assessed on the Static Assessment Rig (SAR) for your reactions to braking, steering strengths and your ability to operate foot pedals. You will be asked complete some exercises on the rig which is the set up of a car. The SAR also has numerous adaptations that can be added or removed as required.

In North Wales a mobile assessment rig is used in the same way as the SAR but

it is located in a motor vehicle. At our other locations in West and Mid Wales this part of the assessment is undertaken in the assessment vehicle.

 

  • In-car assessment takes place in a quiet area where the assessor will ensure that you are able to operate the controls comfortably and you will be given time to familiarise yourself with the assessment vehicle.

 

  • Once the assessor is confident that you are ready to proceed to public road you will be asked to drive on a pre - planned assessment route which includes minor and major roads, roundabouts, junctions, dual carriageways, traffic calming measures etc. During an assessment drive, the client’s concentration, perceptual and decision making abilities are all explored, all of which are necessary skills to ensure safe driving.

 

  • At the end of the assessment the assessor will discuss the outcome and advice will be given accordingly. Leaflets and publications relevant to the outcome will be given to you i.e. information on driving instructors, conversion companies, insurance and DVLA contact numbers. A written report will be sent within 10 working days. (If you were referred by the DVLA a discussion on the outcome will take place but you will not receive a copy of the report).

 

 

FOLLOW UP ASSESSMENTS

 

Sometimes we are unable to complete the on road section of the assessment for various reasons. You may have become fatigued or unwell or the assessor feels that you require further time to allow natural healing to take place to report on a true reflection of your driving ability. It may have been advised that you require adaptations to your vehicle and the assessor feels that you require practise using the adaptations before taking you on public road. You may have been issued with a Provisional Driving Assessment Licence (PDAL) from the DVLA for the duration of the assessment to allow you to undergo the assessment but the assessor advises that further practise is required before he can make a decision on your ability to drive in safety. If this situation occurs a further appointment will be arranged without any additional charge.

 

 

REVIEW ASSESSMENTS

 

If you have a medical condition that is likely to deteriorate the assessor may advise a review assessment after a suggested period of time. A charge will be made for the review at a reduced fee. If the referral was from the DVLA you will not be charged.


 

PASSENGER / CARER ASSESSMENT

 

carony-turnout

 

For clients who are experiencing difficulties with access to and from a vehicle, our Centre’s have a wide range of equipment that may reduce or eliminate the physical effort involved during transfers. The assessment explores safe transfers and travelling needs, vehicle suitability and equipment options and stowage.

 

 

 

There are a variety of options to consider depending on the individuals abilities

 

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  • A wheelchair accessible vehicle may be needed for clients who wish to remain in their wheelchairs whilst travelling.
  • A wheelchair that turns into the vehicles seat (Carony system) could be the solution
  • Swivel seats, hoists, ramps are all methods that need to be considered and can be demonstrated at the centres.

 

 

DRIVE FROM WHEELCHAIR

caronydrivevehicle

To drive from a wheelchair you must meet the following criteria

 

  • You must be a wheelchair user
  • Your own power wheelchair must be suitably crash tested by the manufacturer and compatible with the tie down system of the vehicle.

 

 

If you are unable to transfer from your wheelchair to the drivers seat of the vehicle and you wish to remain independent and drive yourself there are vehicles available for assessment that can be tried through the Forum of Assessment Centres UK. If you require an assessment in a Drive from Wheelchair vehicle please contact the centre and an appointment will be arranged.

 

 

 

 

 

HOW TO ARRANGE AN ASSESSMENT

 

Contact the South Wales Centre for an assessment in Cardiff or Pembroke Dock. Contact the North Wales Centre for assessment in Bodelwyddan or Newtown. An application form for assessment will be sent to you or can be downloaded from this site.

 

 

ASSESSMENT LOCATIONS

 

  • South Wales Mobility Centre, Llandaff, Cardiff 
  • North Wales Mobility Centre, Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire 
  • Mid Wales Mobility Centre, OT Dept, Montgomery Hospital, Newtown 
  • West Wales Mobility Centre, OT Dept, South Pembs Hospital, South Pembrokeshire 

 

An assessment can be arranged at a location most suitable for you but if you have extreme difficulties in attending any of the above locations please contact us to discuss your problems