A4E contacted a heart attack victim to inform him that he must complete a back-to-work scheme, just days after he suffered major heart failure.
Colin Rogers, 58, lay in a hospital bed in Liverpool recovering from a life-saving quadruple heart bypass, when he received a phone call from A4E demanding an explanation as to why he hadn’t attended a Work Programme placement.
His Wife, Carol, was informed by heart specialists that her husband was moments from death after he began to experience crippling check pains on September 27. Mr Rogers was told that he must undergo emergency heart surgery to save his life.
Carol says that she informed the local JobCentre of her husband’s condition and asked that they pass on the information to A4E.
A few days after leaving hospital, Mr Rogers told the Liverpool Echo:
“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.”
Mr Rogers claims that the A4E official “was persisting about wanting to discuss the next plan of action” about his participation on the scheme, and his efforts to find a job. “I said I was ending the conversation and put the phone down”, said Mr Rogers.
Moments after ending the call, Rogers said that a worried nurse noticed his heart monitor and asked if he was OK. “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.”
His wife 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 spokesperson for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said the correct procedures had been followed. A spokeswoman for A4E said they were not made aware that Mr Rogers “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”.