Maureen McAllister is our guest blogger who tells us about the Arthritis Care Scotland campaign. There appear to be issues are arising from renewal applications for blue badges since a recent change in legislation:
The Blue Badge Scheme is an important service for people with severe mobility problems that enables badge holders to park close to where they need to go. Having a badge can mean the difference between being able to attend appointments, work, volunteer and live independently, and being isolated in your home.The aim of the changes to legislation for existing Blue Badge holders and future applicants to the scheme is that they will benefit from the strengthening of the existing criteria which will ensure that the assessment process is rigorous and transparent.
However this process is having an effect on individuals living with fluctuating inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. With the burden of proof on the applicant; to successfully communicate the effect of their condition, along with the anxiety that a mobility assessment can cause, many applicants are failing to satisfy these conditions. At Arthritis Care Scotland we have seen an increase in individuals who have held a blue badge for many years who are now finding that their review application is not being renewed.
F is 49 she has had a Blue badge for several years. As someone who lives with a chronic auto immune condition she finds walking any distance difficult. The fluctuating and inflammatory nature of the condition means that she has periods where, through pain, fatigue and stiffness, the effort of walking often leaves her drained and unable to work. Having a Blue Badge means she can park nearer to her place of work and confident that she is able to continue to work. If F were to lose her badge she feels that her ability to live independently and continue to work would be in doubt.
Arthritis Care Scotland is collating information to establish how the changes to the blue badge procedures affect the 700,000 people in Scotland who live with arthritis.
In order to ascertain whether this is a widespread problem we need to hear from you.
If you have made a New or Renewal application for a Blue Badge since 2012, which has NOT been successful, then we would like to hear about your experience. This will help us gather evidence needed for a report on our findings. Your details will not be divulged to any other organisation.
To find out more and share your experience, please contact;
Contact Maureen McAllister
Or Chris Waite
Telephone number: 0141 954 7776