A York woman says she is 'tearing her hair out' because her 76-year-old father, who suffers with advanced Parkinson's Disease, has repeatedly been refused a blue badge by City of York Council.

Mandy Cayton first applied for a badge for her father, David Paylor, a year ago. She says she needs it to take him for hospital appointments and for other necessary journeys.

In addition to Parkinson's Mr Paylor is profoundly deaf, has other health and mobility issues, and is liable to fall.

Mrs Cayton says his consultant neurologist, Parkinson’s nurse specialist and GP have all provided evidence to support the application.

She says Department for Transport guidelines allow applicants with 'hidden illnesses' to have a 'desk-based' assessment using written documentation and medical reports. But she says the council has repeatedly insisted that Mr Paylor, from Dringhouses, must attend a formal assessment.

The first time Mr Paylor was asked to attend an assessment he had just been widowed, and had also been discharged from hospital following a fall. "He was in no state to go," said Mrs Cayton.

The second time was just after lockdown had started. Mrs Cayton, who lives in Acomb, was furious.

"He is in the clinically at risk category” she said. "They work from home for their own safety - but expect vulnerable people to travel for a face-to-face assessment and risk contracting coronavirus.”

Mr Paylor was also offered a telephone assessment. "But they know my dad is deaf!" said Mrs Cayton.

The council has told her it will now consider a 'desk-based' assessment - but only if there are further letters from Mr Paylor's consultant and GP.

"What more evidence do they need?" she said. "They've had letters from everyone, including his consultant!"

In a letter seen by The Press Susan Martin of Parkinson’s UK agreed.

“I don’t think there is any further evidence which will help; the error is their interpretation of the current evidence as the neurologist could not be clearer," she wrote.

The council insists it follows DfT guidelines.

"When applicants do not automatically qualify for a blue badge...further assessment is carried out by clinical professionals," said assistant director for customer services Pauline Stuchfield.

But York MP Rachael Maskell, who has taken up Mr Paylor's case, says she has been told by Parkinson's UK that York has been identified as 'one of the most difficult authorities' at recognising the mobility requirements of people with Parkinson's.

Her office is also dealing with two other cases of York Parkinson's sufferers who are having difficulty getting a blue badge.

Ms Maskell wrote to the council on Mr Paylor's behalf pointing out that the authority had been given evidence of his condition in the form of letters from his GP, the hospital and his consultant neurologist.

"Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurological disease resulting in impaired physical and psychological function," she said.

"It is vital that individuals with Parkinson’s are able to get the support they need.

"I therefore urge City of York Council to examine what support can be provided to maintain activity, rather than closing the door to people when they are in need of help."

Ms Martin added: "It is shocking that anyone would be forced to jump through hoops to get a blue badge."

In a statement to The Press, Ms Stuchfield said the council accepted that 'due to the pandemic, these are difficult times'.

She added: "Therefore, we have requested the support of an independent expert to carry out further assessments and help reach an agreeable solution. We are sorry if this process has caused any concern."