Changes to blue badge scheme expected

AS part of national reforms to the way disability badges are handed out, Essex County Council will be required to organise independent mobility assessments, rather than use advice from GPs.

Changes to the system, which come into effect on April 1, will mean the council will carry assessments in 12,000 discretionary cases a year.

It will also mean a charge of �10 every three years for a badge.

The council’s community and older people policy and scrutiny committee is today expected to recommend the cabinet approve proposals to allow Essex Cares to carry out a pilot scheme that will include: Independent mobility assessments and an appeals process by appropriately trained professionals who are registered with the Health Professions Council.

Essex Cares will provide a booking process and report to the ECC blue badge team with a recommendation to either assess the applicant again in three years or not assess the applicant again.