FOI Request - Blue Badge Scheme - Arthritis

Request 101000237295

Arthritis Care Scotland provides support to many of the 700,000 people in
Scotland who live with arthritis.

As a result of changes to the legislation in 2012 it seems that renewal claims are
starting to filter through the system with many long term awards now being
reassessed.

We have recently seen a rise in the number of enquiries regarding applications
and decisions on the disabled parking Blue Badge. These enquiries are mainly
from individuals with arthritis who have held a badge for many years and as a
result their review application under the new rules, they have failed to
demonstrate that they satisfy the conditions. This has left individuals confused
and distressed as often their condition has deteriorated since their initial award.
Arthritis is a condition which affects the joints, it has a range of symptoms which
includes; chronic persistent pain, inflammation, stiffness, limited movement and
extreme fatigue. These symptoms can fluctuate in intensity, with many people
having to pace themselves to enable them to carry out everyday tasks due to
the continuing pain and fatigue.

In order to ascertain whether people with arthritis are being disproportionately
affected by the review of the regulations, we are making this Freedom of
Information request for the following information;

Renewal claims – figures over last full accounting period or since changes in
procedures in 2012.
1. Number of successful awards of cases requiring assessment, (not automatic
entitlement).
2 Number of unsuccessful reviews of assessed cases.
3. Number of above requiring Individual Mobility Assessment’s – successful and
unsuccessful.
4. If known, details of conditions for those applicants requiring assessment.
5 Number of current badges issued in Scotland at this date, both automatic and
assessed awards figures.
6 Comparative figures as above pre 2012 amendments.

Response 10-04-2014

We have taken stats from January to December 2013.

From our perspective those with arthritis (along with other conditions) will show a reduction in the approval rate as they are now functionally assessed therefore only those at the more severe end of the scale will now meet the criteria.  We do take fluctuation into account via interview and assessment and in my opinion it is a fair and accurate system when the policy and appeals process are applied properly.

I am happy to be contacted for further information if required.

Figures over last full accounting period or since changes in procedures in 2012.

1. 546

2  125

3.  532 (367 successful and 72 unsuccessful) the other 109 did not progress their applications

4.. Every condition included as only approved where there was evidence from other professionals or services of eligibility through functional ability to walk.

5  Moray – Badges in issue as at 31/12/2013 = 3720, of which 1742 were automatic awards and 1978 discretionary.

6 Comparative figures as above pre 2012 amendments.

Moray

01/04/11 -31/03/12

All applications Percentage of total applications Discretionary applications Percentage of Discretionary applications
Total applications 1589 ------- 952 ------
Issued 1516 95.4% 903 94.9%
Refused 26 1.6% 26 2.7%
No outcome 47 0.3% 23 2.4%
BB applications Moray April 2012 Moray 1/4/11 – 31/3/12 National Average (2011)*
Automatic 43% 38.5% 37%
Discretionary 47% 61.5% 63%
*Taken from Integrated Transport Planning report

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