A MAN with terminal cancer has been refused a blue badge after a council official said he was unlikely to live longer than six months.

Christopher Atkinson, 70, from Warsash, was told his pancreatic cancer was terminal in September.

His wife Sue, 62, applied to Hampshire County Council for a blue badge so the couple can park near cafes when they go out as Christopher can barely walk.

But the Warsash couple were horrified at a council officer turning down the application in just 24 hours.

The worker said Christopher had less than six months to live - despite medics being unable to tell the couple how long he has left to live.

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Sue said: “When we heard back from the council, my husband was really, really upset.

"The council said there is no supporting evidence that his life expectancy is short.

“I am absolutely incensed.

“It’s not so much they didn’t let us have it, but the way they worded the email. I think it is a terrible way to treat people.

“It's bad enough when you have been given a life sentence, so for the council to turn around and say to someone about their life expectancy and ‘criteria’ is just awful and so insensitive.”

Daily Echo: Christopher and Sue AtkinsonChristopher and Sue Atkinson

Christopher was diagnosed in March 2020 and underwent many rounds of chemotherapy that left him with osteoarthritis in his knee.

He underwent an operation before he was told last September his cancer is terminal, and has since deteriorated.

Sue requested the badge on April 3 and received a response from the council on April 4.

The response from the blue badge team said: “In blue badge terms this indicates you have a life expectancy that is unlikely to be longer than six months.

"We are unable to proceed with your application since there is no supporting evidence that confirms you meet this criteria."

The email goes on to ask for evidence of the "diagnosis and poor prognosis".

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Sue said she provided contact details for Christopher’s oncologist - but does not know her husband's prognosis.

She said: “We don’t know how long we have got. It could be 10 days or 10 months.

“We don’t want to be treated like that when dealing with a death sentence.

“I do not think the council should be sending emails like that. There was no empathy.”

Hampshire County Council has since said it will “sincerely apologise” to Mr and Mrs Atkinson for any upset they may have caused with the wording of the email.

A spokesperson said: “We realise that this is a very difficult and sensitive time for them and their family.

“As such, members of our Blue Badge team will contact Mr Atkinson personally today to offer any assistance he may require to complete his Blue Badge application.

“As a result of Mr and Mrs Atkinson getting in touch about this issue, the Blue Badge team will be reviewing the wording of their customer responses.”

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