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Blue badge assessment

lynnhblynnhb Posts: 62
edited 6. Apr 2013, 13:00 in Living with Arthritis archive
Joined: 14 Sep 2009 19:36 I went for an assessment to renew my blue badge this morning. My husband came with me. We had both booked a day holiday from our respective jobs. I was asked if I had retired. I am 57, & said 'No, I work 30 hours'. The assessor classed that as full time. She asked how I manage shopping & cooking? I said 'My husband does it, & to wash up I have to do it in stages'. I was asked to perform a weird exercise of closing my eyes with my forearms crossed over my chest. I told her it felt odd & I didn't wish to keep my eyes closed. I actual fact I felt really stupid. I wasn't there for a medical for an inner ear condition. She sat at one side of a long desk & to use the chair with arms I had to sit some way from her. Was this a Fawlty Towers interview?
I noticed the fire door had a chair in front of it, & I thought how ridiculous for disabled people in an emergency: 'Fire alarm sounds, quick! make your way around the table, past the chairs then move the obstructing chair before pulling back the blinds to access the fire door.' I wondered if the fire door was locked?
Not once did the assessor ask me how I feel after a day at work, or how my pain varies at different times of day. She was pleasant enough in an efficient manner, & told me she is training to be a physiotherapist. The whole thing was about as personal as returning goods to customer service.
My husband thought it was an inappropriate interview. I have been in hospital a few times & nearly died twice, & he doesn't back me or listen if I complain about medical staff unless they are genuinely incompetent. He usually has a way of summing it up constructively, & tells me they were doing their job properly. He didn't do that today. It could be considered funny. But it isn't. Two weeks wait now to hear result. :roll:

Comments

  • 19smp5919smp59 Posts: 105
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That sounds awful, it must be hard enough having to go for these assessments without being treated in such a bad way. Not sure the relevance of how many hours you work. I work full-time. I have tried different ways of working my hours in order to manage. I am often in bed by 7.30pm as I am so tired, but I have to work full-time as I have a mortgage and there is only me to pay it. I feel really sorry for anyone having to attend any kind of assessment at the moment it must be so stressful. Anyway good luck and I hope you get the badge you deserve.

    Suzanne x
  • lynnhblynnhb Posts: 62
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Suzanne. I agree about the working/going to bed early. What concerns me too is that these assessments seem to be done differently in each area. The assessors, I am informed, (tell me if I am wrong on this) are all trainee physiotherapists, therefore may not have the experience in life or their work to assess competently &/or holistically. The assessment criteria seems to be applied inconsistently. I explained that when I do manage to go to a supermarket on my rare 'good' days, I get part-way around the shop & become hot, tired & grumpy (meaning due to pain), her response was 'Don't we all!'
    I worked supporting older people as a care support worker from my late 20's & was always aware that although I didn't necessarily know how they felt or understand their pain, to them it was an individual & real issue, & I respected that. Retorting back to someone how I felt was considered unprofessional, & to this day - I now work as a Training Coordinator with staff who support adults with learning & associated disabilities, & I assess diploma's (were NVQ) - I would expect staff to demonstrate empathy whilst enabling, not moan about their own feelings & disabling individuals. The system appears to be failing support & enablement in favour of disabling & disrespecting individual needs.
    I paid £15 for a letter from my G.P. & after a brief glance at it the assessor said she didn't need it. I would have thought that, with my medication prescription list & consultant letter would have been attached to my application.
    I shall be interested to see where all this leads overall for people. I have heard there are so many appeals the paperwork is mounting & it is costing a lot of money.
  • bluekneesblueknees Posts: 90
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You don't mention the walking test?

    Did you have to show how far you can walk?

    I had as OT Blue Badge assessment in April last year and failed as I could walk too far.

    I had another assessment with the same OT in February and passed because she could see I was really struggling. No walking test this time.

    I had a new knee last June and it didn't work out. That was the difference :)
  • 19smp5919smp59 Posts: 105
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    To be honest I don't know very much at all about these assessments. I don't have a blue badge. I am lucky that I have a car park at work and I shop online, groceries, clothes in fact everything. I think if I didn't have the car park at work I would then think about applying for the blue badge, although the thought of the assessment could just be enough to stop me from doing so.
  • lynnhblynnhb Posts: 62
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good morning all; Happy Easter. Yes I did have to do the walking test blueknees. Across the car park & back. I also had to walk up & down a wide staircase using my stick. I use stairs at home, however they have a rail either side. I don't use stairs with my stick normally as I feel unsafe. Then she told me to put my good leg down the step first. My doctors letter told her, had she read it properly, that I have osteoarthritis in both knees. I tried telling her that I use whichever knee is better at any given time, but she wouldn't listen & kept insisting I do it her way.
    These assessments are frustrating. Visiting a GP or hospital apt. was often like that years ago. Now though, I find not only do they hear what you say, they respond appropriately. I felt things have slipped back in time at my assessment. :o
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,942 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Oh Lynne they are treating the disabled like criminals...that is awful what on earth is going on..I would love to be a fly on the wall when they train these people...you are working....and they are trying to get out of giving you a blue badge...for gods sake this makes my blood boil...I am so glad your hubby saw it all...Good Luck...xx
    Love
    Barbara
  • elainebadkneeelainebadknee Posts: 3,703
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi

    The whole assessment sounds like a comedy of errors and by someone who is very much indeed lacking compassion, a pulse or any sense of decency. I don't understand why you needed to be put through hoops for a blue badge, at the end of the day we pay for this and I personally would pay the fee tenfold for it because for me its worth it and I need it..
    Incidentally I went into my town and pulled up into a disabled bay and immediately saw 2 female traffic wardens huddled together. They saw me pull up, my age (44) and could see the conversation saying I was easy pickings...So one marches right up to my car window and asks to see my ID, i showed her it and said could lip read their conversation...I also commented that i wish they would get all the mc donalds people who park there all the time and pulled up after I returned to my car in their hordes - no little hitlers then? I smiled but also they should not have judged me, I put my badge up immediately, that should have been enough, she was obviously convinced I was using someone else's badge or was chancing my arm....

    Elainexx
  • sbolamsbolam Posts: 374
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    oh I know what you mean, I am 41 and the looks I get when I park and put my BB up and the comments I hear..its sad that people have lost there compassion and think everyone is faking..so sad
    04_pain.jpg
  • StarburstStarburst Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have a blue badge assessment on Thursday and I'm even more nervous now. :? I've put off applying for so long because I'm only 24 and worried about getting dirty looks but my mobility has got worse and I am really struggling.
  • lynnhblynnhb Posts: 62
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for 'listening' & your support.
    Starburst, I wish you well for your assessment. Try to remember how important your badge is to you, & know that not all assessors are so detached. You may meet with someone who is perfectly in tune with the conditions people have to live with.
    I have a feeling this whole caboodle is going to have to be reviewed. It seems to have totally missed the point so far.
    I know there are people who cheat the system. My husband works in social housing & has to deal with many who could help themselves a lot more. On the other hand he deals with lots of lovely people who work hard, or have worked & are now retired, & really need support.
    I do not plan to retire until I am 66, so I have 8 years + 1 month to go!
    Love to you all, Lynn :)
  • bluekneesblueknees Posts: 90
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Good luck Starburst.

    Just remember to tell the truth about your condition and how it affects your walking ability.

    If you use a stick have it with you.

    Look for a chair with arms, if none available ask for one. (Good advice received from this forum).

    The walking test is only a short walk and if you do it without any problems chances are you will not get the badge. If you walk a bit, rest a bit, then walk some more it may help.

    If you have letters from medical professionals that would support you application take them with you.

    Let us know how you get on. :)
  • racergirlracergirl Posts: 12
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Starburst, hope you got on ok with your blue badge assessment.

    I've just had my assessment and got the badge renewed :D . I was told at the end of the interview. My test was at the local council offices and the test started as soon as I was picked up from reception. She told me the distance to the office and that she would be timing it. She watched how I walked/limped, I use a stick and my partner went with me and I held on to him at the same time. Also used him to help me out of the chair in reception (no arms). The rest of the interview was questions about how I did things like shopping, walking up & down, etc. I had been really nervous about it and was so relieved when I was told I got it renewed.
  • StarburstStarburst Posts: 2,546
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Glad it went well, racergirl. Got mine for 3 years! I had a lovely assessor who was an OT and gave me tips on how to cope at home e.g. hand rails and kitchen equipment. I did the walking test before she asked me all the questions and I met the criteria on slowness/limping. I was quite worried, so feel relieved and it will def make life easier.
  • lynnhblynnhb Posts: 62
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well done racergirl & blueknees. Pleased to hear you were both successful. :D
  • bluekneesblueknees Posts: 90
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Everyone who has to go through this test deserves lots of credit 'cos it isn't easy at all.

    Well done to those that get the badge and well done for those who don't - at least you've had a go :)
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