Summary of report contentIn November 2016 Healthwatch Devon conducted an independent inquiry into assessments for a Blue Badge in Devon. This report contains 13 experiences that have been shared with Healthwatch Devon by Healthwatch Champions who are based in Citizens Advice Centres across the County. Individuals had contacted Citizens Advice because they were worried about the outcome of a recent Blue Badge assessment. Assessments had resulted in them not being eligible for a Blue Badge award, even though in some cases they had been eligible before. Similar concerns had also been received by Devon County Council, which were: 1. Applicant disagrees with information contained in the assessment 2. Applicant who was recently eligible for a Blue Badge, assessed as no longer eligible 3. Attitude of the assessor Key findings Based on the experiences presented within this report the main issues were found to be: An inconsistency in the quality of blue badge assessments. • Concerns regarding how the assessment criteria is applied and its consistency with the national guidelines. • A lack of privacy, resulting in the process being uncomfortable and intimidating. • Staff attitudes; a lack of dignity and respect. Individuals did not feel that their voice had been heard or that their needs been fully considered. • The negative impact that being refused a Blue Badge can have on an individual’s health and wellbeing. Recommendations 1. That Devon County Council and Devon Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee review this report alongside any other the evidence Devon County Council holds in relation to people’s experiences of the Blue Badge assessment service. 2. That Devon County Council considers carrying out a review of the blue badge assessment process to identify what steps can be taken to improve the quality of the service for applicants.
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Blue Badge Report Summary of Evidence, Devon
Date of publication
Tuesday, 1 November, 2016
Date evidence capture began
Thursday, 3 March, 2016
Date evidence capture finished
Tuesday, 13 September, 2016
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