MP backs drive to extend blue badge scheme for non-physical conditions

DEBBIE Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, is backing calls for the blue badge parking scheme to cover people with non-physical conditions, like dementia and autism.

MP Debbie Abrahams (centre) with Barrie and his wife Val

She is speaking out over the issue about being approached by constituent Barrie Wild from Dobcross, who has dementia and struggled with the scheme’s assessment process.
Mrs Abrahams, who is also Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, explained: “I’m backing the idea that people with non-physical conditions, such as dementia and autism, should be eligible for a blue badge to help them with parking.
“As it stands the process for getting a blue badge can vary across the country as the national criteria is not clear on physical and non-physical conditions.
“Barrie went through the assessment process recently but was left drained and upset by the series of tests used by the current system.
“Creating a blue badge system that is the same across the country should make the assessments easier for people with these non-physical conditions, and for councils too, if they operate under one clearly defined process.”
Age UK helped Barrie fill out an application form and he went for an assessment at the Link Centre in Oldham with his wife and carer Val.
She said: “Barrie was asked to do a walking test and informed that his walking was satisfactory, which we presume meant he was fit enough not to be eligible!
“One thing I’m really concerned about is that the carer is not allowed to have any input during the interview which shows no regard for the person being assessed and no understanding of the condition they have.
“By the time we got home Barrie was exhausted and upset. As Barrie’s carer I should be able to help him deal with the assessment process and help the assessor understand what Barrie’s needs are.”
Barrie, who has poor balance and falls over sometimes, is keen to spread the word about the consultation and encourage people to take part.
He said: “I didn’t qualify for a blue badge at my assessment but if new legislation is passed then maybe I would.
“I don’t think people understand how difficult it is doing everyday tasks such as shopping or going to visit friends which can often lead to headaches and disorientation.
“Having a blue badge would make life so much easier for me and for Val who cares for me.”
The government is holding a consultation on the blue badge scheme until 18 March 2018 and Mrs Abrahams, who has made creating a dementia-friendly Oldham one of her top ten priorities, is keen that as many people as possible take part.
uu To take part, go online:
www.gov.uk/government/consultations/blue-badge-disabled-parking-scheme-eligibility-review

One Reply to “MP backs drive to extend blue badge scheme for non-physical conditions”

  1. The Blue Badge scheme and the related motability scheme where successful applicants are loaned a car are, and always have been, abused by some of the users.
    This is a direct quote from the president of the Disabled Drivers Association so don’t send me hate mail.
    The difficulty is that motobility cars can be driven by anyone who has been given permission by the disabled person, in some families it is used for commuting to work and the disabled person left at home, and the blue badge can only be used, though it isn’t, when the disabled person has found someone prepared to drive them in their personal car.
    This means that a lot of disabled people are sat at home because the motability car is parked up in a works car park, or the driver is at work and the disabled person has no licence, or the disabled person has no-one with a car they can call on to run them to the shops/hospital.
    The disabled people themselves need empowering not those around them.
    Scrap the current schemes and finance ring and ride taxi drivers who would have extra medical training who could take the disabled people to their destinations. Then they would not be stuck in waiting for an able bodied person to appear and ferry them around.
    The system of adapted cars for those with a licence would carry on.

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