Agency called Colin Rogers as he lay waiting for a bypass operation in Broadgreen Hospital
DAYS after suffering a major heart attack and as he lay in a hospital bed wired to monitors facing a bypass operation, a Wirral dad was phoned and told he must continue a government work programme.
Colin Rogers, 58, from Irby, had been admitted to Arrowe Park Hospital and then transferred to Broadgreen, in Liverpool, after suffering chest pains. His wife, Carol, said she was later told he was moments from death as his heart failed and then specialists said he must undergo a quadruple heart bypass operation after he was taken ill on September 27.
Yet, days later – despite his wife informing the Job Centre of her husband’s condition and asking that this be passed on – as he lay in bed in hospital he received a call about his place on the Government’s Work Programme, delivered by public services company A4e. Colin, who had worked for Champion Spark Plugs until the factory closed and he was made redundant, was told by a manager from A4e that he was committed to the work programme he had been signed up and would have to continue it.
Colin, who came out of hospital a few days ago, said: “I couldn’t believe that they were ringing me because I had given my wife a list of people who needed to be told and she had contacted the Job Centre and told them A4e needed to be informed what had happened to me. So I was completely shocked and I said to the guy I couldn’t believe he was phoning me, that he was supposed to have been told that I had a heart attack.
“This guy was persisting about wanting to discuss the next plan of action but I said I was ending the conversation and put the phone down.”
Colin said within minutes of this a nurse, who had noticed his heart monitor, came and asked if there was a problem, but Colin said: “I didn’t want to say anything because I was embarrassed I was being phoned up like that.” He added: “But I was disgusted with what had happened. I want to work, but all I seem to be doing is fighting these people.”
Carol said: “He was not supposed to be stressed. It’s been horrendous, Even though my doctor said he may never work again, they are saying to us he has to finish the back to work programme.”
A spokeswoman for DWP said correct procedures had been followed. A spokeswoman for A4e said: “The telephone call that was made to Mr Rogers had been pre-arranged two months earlier, and when we rang him, we were unaware he had been taken seriously ill and was in hospital. The conversation was very brief and as soon as we realised Mr Rogers was in hospital, we ended the call. All correct procedures were followed, and no further contact has been made.”