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Decision details

Report of the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman regarding Assessment for Blue Badges

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has issued a public report following a decision to uphold a complaint relating to the failure to offer face to face physiotherapist assessments for blue badge applications.

Decision:

11.1

The Monitoring Officer and the Executive Director, Resources, submitted a joint report, in line with the requirements of the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman, outlining the Ombudsman’s report on a complaint made by an applicant (Mrs. B) about the Council’s decision not to issue her a blue badge and its failure to offer her a face-to-face mobility assessment. The report also describes the Council’s actions in response to the Ombudsman complaint.  Appended to the report were the Ombudsman’s report and the Council’s updated Blue Badge Policy.

 

 

11.2

RESOLVED: That Cabinet notes the findings of the Ombudsman’s report, the actions taken by the Council and acknowledged by the Ombudsman, and the additional recommendations of the Ombudsman, as set out in the report now submitted, and in particular, that:-

 

 

 

(a)

the Council has taken the following actions:-

·         arranged an assessment by a physiotherapist for the complainant (Mrs. B); and

·         identified 25 applicants affected by its failure to offer face-to-face assessments and will contact them to offer an assessment by a physiotherapist;

 

 

 

 

(b)

the Council has also agreed to review the way it deals with applications for blue badges to ensure that, in future, all applicants will be offered an assessment by a physiotherapist in accordance with legislation and statutory guidance; and

 

 

 

 

(c)

in addition, the Ombudsman recommended that the Council:-

·         apologises to Mrs B for the failure to offer her a face-to-face assessment; and

·         pays her £250 for the time and trouble it has put her to.

 

 

 

11.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

 

The Council has considered the findings of the Ombudsman in this case and believes that they are accurate. The Council has taken steps to ensure that the issues identified in the report have been addressed for Mrs B and other service users and are not repeated.

 

 

11.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

11.4.1

The Council could choose to the contest the findings of the Ombudsman. However the Council accepts the Ombudsman’s view that there has been fault causing injustice to Mrs B.

 

 

11.4.2

The Council could contest the recommendations of the Ombudsman, but as it has acknowledged the failings in this case and taken steps to ensure that no other customer is similarly affected, it believes it should accept the recommendations the Ombudsman has proposed to remedy these failures.

 

 

11.5

Any Interest Declared or Dispensation Granted

 

 

None

 

 

11.6

Reason for Exemption if Public/Press Excluded During Consideration

 

 

None

 

 

11.7

Respective Director Responsible for Implementation

 

 

Eugene Walker, Executive Director, Resources

 

 

11.8

Relevant Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee If Decision Called In

 

 

Overview and Scrutiny Management

 

 

Publication date: 19/12/2019

Date of decision: 18/12/2019

Decided at meeting: 18/12/2019 - Cabinet

Date comes into force if not called in: 03/01/2020

Call-in deadline date: 02/01/2020

Accompanying Documents: