The health emergency badge

The health emergency badge (HEB) is for people involved in the delivery of primary healthcare attending medical emergencies in patients' homes. 

All London Boroughs have agreed to the scheme, although it is not a mandatory provision and it is offered entirely at the discretion of London parking authorities. The badge has no legal status.

Important update

Health emergency badge prodcution and enforcement resumes normal service

Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, London Councils officers were instructed to work from home. This meant that the administration of the Health Emergency Badge (HEB) Scheme was significantly impacted, leading to the suspension of wholesale badge production since March 2020. In recent months, we have also experienced complications with our badge supplier which has necessitated a change in production partner.

As a result of these issues and to ensure that badge users could continue to deliver vital services for the communities they serve at a time of heighten pressure due to the pandemic, health professionals were advised that they could continue to use their expired badge(s) until production could be resumed.

With the national lockdown now drawing to a close, London Councils staff have been working to ensure the scheme is once again fully operational and are now in a position to recommence the process of issuing HEBs. 

We intend to process all applications currently in our system within the next two weeks and have advised all London boroughs to resume enforcement against any vehicles displaying an expired HEB, that may otherwise be parked in contravention, from 19 July 2021. 

We would therefore strongly advise that you should not rely on an expired HEB from 19 July 2021 as you may be subject to the issuance of a Penalty Charge Notice. If you are using an expired badge, or have a badge that will be expiring soon, you should commence the reapplication process as soon as possible.

We thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this difficult time.

We are undertaking a review of the Health Emergency Badge scheme to ascertain how improvements can be made. The review will assess the effectiveness of the scheme, including its impact on health professionals, patients and boroughs’ parking enforcement measures. It will examine both current and future elements including: administration; cost; eligibility criteria, design of the badge; exemptions; parking restrictions and enforcement - ultimately whether the badge is still fit for purpose.

We sought the opinions of health professionals using the scheme and the London boroughs that provide a kerbside parking concession to allow attendance for emergency care.

The results of the survey are now complete and we are pleased to be able to publish the results here:

London Councils will take into consideration the results as we move forward with the review. Further details on the progress and recommendations will follow in due course.

HE badge displayed on mirror

The badge should be clearly displayed by hanging it on the rear view mirror. The address of the patient being visited must be shown.

If you are visiting a house on the same street as the one you are parked in, the house number and/or building name alone will suffice.

The address is crucial - without it, parking enforcement officers may assume that the badge holder is not on a visit to a patient and may issue a parking ticket.

Also if the address is not shown it will be impossible to contact the badge holder in the event that the vehicle must be moved.

Yellow lines

Badge users attending a medical emergency can park in meter, pay and display bays and residents bays without paying. If no alternative parking space is available, users can park on yellow lines. At all times badge users must ensure they do not cause an obstruction or endanger other road users. Badge users must not stay longer than absolutely necessary.

When the badge is clearly displayed and used in accordance with the conditions of use, badge users would not usually receive penalty charge notices or be towed away.

Yellow lines

If a vehicle showing the badge needs to be moved, every effort will be made to find the user at the address on the badge before any action is taken.

Occasionally when emergencies arise, vehicles may have to be removed without notice, although when this happens HEB users are likely to be relocated to another nearby street and not towed to the pound. If your vehicle is missing call the TRACE service on 0845 206 8 602.

Penalty Charge notice

If you get a parking ticket - contact the council which issued the ticket and explain why you think it should be cancelled. If they don't accept your reasons they will advise you of your rights of appeal.

If you get towed away - contact the 24-hour Vehicle TRACE service on 0845 206 8 602.


The badge can only be used when visiting a patient to provide emergency healthcare in their home. 'Emergency healthcare' may include when:

  • A situation in which a patient needs immediate treatment to avoid possible loss of life or where life saving equipment in the home has failed
  • A patient needs immediate treatment to alleviate acute pain or other distressing symptoms
  • Childbirth is imminent or immediate post-natal treatment is required
  • A child is in danger or a person is at risk of violent attack
  • A patient is suffering a mental health emergency and poses a risk to themselves and/or others

Users are not covered by the scheme for:

  • parking at their normal place of work
  • parking for routine or non-emergency home visits 
  • parking at hospitals or clinics 
  • parking in doctor's, ambulance or hospital bays allocated to another user.

The scheme does not apply:

  • outside the London boroughs 
  • on private property, such as housing estates and private roads 
  • on red routes or motorways.

Any use of a badge outside of these terms may result in the receipt of a penalty charge notice and the individual badge, or all badges issued to the Practice, being withdrawn.

Any general practice, health trust or clinic may apply for badges if they employ staff whose work involves visiting patients in their homes to provide emergency health care.

This includes doctors, nurses, midwives and health visitors.

It does not include other para-medical practitioners such as physiotherapists, chiropodists and occupational therapists, or social workers.

Applications should be made at one time for all the badges required. Applications should be made for the minimum number of badges necessary.

For example, where there are twenty community nurses in one department, but only five are likely to make home visits at any one time, only five badges should be applied for by the department manager.

Any eligible member of staff in any vehicle may use the badge. It is the responsibility of the manager to allocate the badges to staff as appropriate.

For more information or to request an application form please e-mail the Health Emergency Badge team or ring 020 7934 9697.

You can also download the application form using the link in the right hand column.

We are committed to taking action to ensure that the way we work does not place people with disabilities at a disadvantage. We want to remove the barriers to accessing information on the Health Emergency Badge (HEB) scheme and applying for badges where appropriate.

Our legal duties 

Anyone providing services to the public or a section of the public, or carrying out public functions, who finds that there are barriers to people with disabilities in the way they do things must consider making adjustments. If those adjustments are reasonable, they must be made. 

The duty is ‘anticipatory’. This means a service provider cannot wait until a person with a disability wants to use the service. They must think in advance (and on an ongoing basis) about what people with a range of impairments (such as people who have a visual or hearing impairment, a mobility impairment, or a learning disability) might reasonably need. 

The Equality Act 2010 requires us to provide reasonable adjustments for people who are “disabled”. Under the Act this means they have a “physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities”. 

The duty is to make “reasonable adjustments” if the way that we carry out our functions places a disabled person at a “substantial disadvantage” compared to someone who does not have a disability. 

We will do our best accommodate requests even if you do not have a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010. 

What are reasonable adjustments? 

Reasonable adjustments are not defined by the Act. There is a Code of Practice which gives guidance as to the kind of adjustments that could be made. Making a reasonable adjustment means making a change to our usual practices to avoid or correct a disadvantage to a person who has a disability in accessing our service. Depending on your needs, this could include: 

  • Providing documents or correspondence in larger print, or with a specific colour contrast (which may help people with conditions such as dyslexia) 
  • Giving you more time than would usually be allowed to provide further information or comments on their complaint 
  • Using the telephone rather than written communication (e.g. if you have a visual disability) 
  • Translating documents or correspondence into Braille 
  • Communicating with you through your representative or advocate 
  • Providing access to an ‘EasyRead’ version of key documents for those with a learning disability 
  • Providing access to a “Reader Friendly” version of key documents for those with dyslexia or other reading difficulties

Asking for reasonable adjustments 

When you first contact us, we will ask you if you might need an adjustment to help you use our services. However, you can also ask for a Reasonable Adjustment at any time.

We can also suggest new or additional adjustments if we feel it might help you continue to make the best use of our service. 

If you would like to request a reasonable adjustment, please contact us as soon as possible either by email at the Health Emergency Badge team or call 020 7934 9697  

Our response to requests

Before agreeing an adjustment, we will consider:

What the disadvantage would be if the adjustment were not made 

  • Whether the adjustment will be effective in reducing the disadvantage 
  • How practical it is to make it 
  • Whether it would disrupt our other activities unreasonably 
  • The cost and availability of resources, including external help and finance 

We will try to agree a reasonable adjustment with a minimum of delay. In some cases, we may need to consider the request in more detail. 

There may be circumstances where we decide not to meet the request. The law states that an adjustment need only be made if it is “reasonable.” We need to take account of the cost or resource implications of making the adjustment, whether the request itself is reasonable and whether there is a less expensive way of meeting the request. Where it is very difficult to provide the adjustment or meeting it would interfere with our ability to meet our legal obligations, we may decide it is not “reasonable”. 

We will look at each request individually and will aim to agree any adjustments with you to avoid us making incorrect assumptions about your needs. Where we do not agree an adjustment, we will explain why. When we agree a reasonable adjustment, we will let you know in writing. 

Other actions we take

  • We publish this policy on our website. 
  • We make sure that our staff are aware of their responsibilities. 
  • We are in the process of updating all our documents to include a statement that invites people to contact us if they need us to adapt the way we communicate. 
  • We regularly review our work to see if we are putting our commitments as set out in this policy into practice. 

Complaints about failure to provide reasonable adjustments

We hope that, when you use the HEB service, you will be happy with any action we have taken to make sure any barriers to making your complaint have been overcome. But if you are unhappy with our response to any requests you make for reasonable adjustment, or with the reasonable adjustment provided, you can complain to us about this. 

Updated August 2022

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