Blue Badge scheme: An independent inquiry report summary

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Devon collected experiences of local people that had found issues with the assessment process and outcomes for applications for Blue Badges - Parking badges for people with disabilities. 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. As Healthwatch Devon were collecting these experiences, they wrote to Devon County Council to request information about the assessment process and to find out if they too had received similar concerns. This is a summary of the full report. Key findings included:  An inconsistency in the quality of blue badge assessments.  A lack of privacy, resulting in the process being uncomfortable and intimidating.  The negative impact that being refused a Blue Badge can have on an individual’s health and wellbeing.  Staff attitudes; a lack of dignity and respect. Individuals did not feel that their voice had been heard and that their needs had not been fully considered. There were two recommendations made in the report:  Devon County Council and Devon Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee review this report alongside any other evidence Devon County Council holds in relation to people’s experiences of the Blue Badge assessment service.  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. The report contains a response from Devon County Council, where they accept the recommendations made.

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General details

Report title 
Blue Badge scheme: An independent inquiry report summary
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Devon
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 December, 2016
Type of report 
Key themes 
Car parking access
Car parking charges
Complaints procedure
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Not known
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Citizens Advice
Primary research method used 
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Third Party
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Not known
Types of long term conditions 
Not known

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact
Tangible impact (not cost related)

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.