GPs have been bringing to our attention their concern about increasing numbers of patients asking for letters to support their application for a Blue Badge or letters to support an appeal against Blue Badge refusal.
Unfortunately the letter currently in use by Lancashire County Council states that GP letters are acceptable to provide detailed medical information regarding how medical conditions affect the patients mobility, despite this being against Department for Transport guidelines. We are also aware of anecdotal evidence that this advice is being shared by members of the LCC Blue Badge team verbally with applicants.
The LMC have been in communication with LCC to inform them that this work should not be undertaken by GPs as it falls outside the scope of their contractual requirements and also puts further pressure on GP time and workload. In response, LCC have written that, “The service would not insist that the applicant provides a GP letter and we do make it clear that copies of prescriptions and hospital letters are acceptable if this evidences the applicant’s condition and how this affects their ability to walk. At no point would we advise a customer that a GP practice would assist them with this service and as such each practice would have their own policy” (please see the attached letter).
To this end, we would advise that you can refuse writing a letter for the patient but may wish to release appropriate factual documentation following the appropriate checks and balances that are usually undertaken in this process. A suitable fee may be charged for this.