The Department said that at present only some councils currently recognised hidden disabilities and the proposed new policy was designed to provide ‘clear and consistent’ guidelines.
Eligibility under the current scheme is primarily aimed at those who have a permanent and substantial disability which causes inability to walk or very considerable difficulty in walking. Where it is not self-evident that an applicant meets the walking criterion, the local authority must use a mobility assessor who is independent of the applicant, rather than the applicant’s GP.
However, as an independent mobility assessor may not be suitable for assessing mental or cognitive disabilities, the government is seeking views on the use of eligibility assessors for all applicants covered by the proposed new criterion. This would allow a range of healthcare professionals other than GPs to undertake the assessments. They would not need to be independent of the applicant.
Peter McCabe, Chief Executive of Headway, said: “We know that due to the hidden nature of brain injury some of the people we support find it difficult to access badges, even though their condition causes them very significant difficulties when undertaking a journey.
“We are very much in favour of these proposals and believe they could have a significant impact on helping brain injury survivors avoid becoming social isolated.”
How to respond to the consultation
The full details of the consultation can be found on the Department of Transport’s website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/blue-badge-disabled-parking-scheme-eligibility-review
It closes on the 18 March.Back