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DPD driver dies after being fined for missing work to go to doctor

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DPD driver dies after being fined for missing work to go to doctor
Don Lane, pictured with his wife Ruth, died after collapsing last month (Picture: BNPS)

A DPD courier who was fined £150 for missing work to attend a medical appointment for his diabetes has died.

Don Lane, 53, died last month five days after collapsing in his home in Christchurch, Dorset, leaving behind his devastated wife Ruth and their son Jordon, 22.

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Mr Lane, 53, skipped numerous appointments with kidney specialists after he was fined for missing a day’s work for attending another hospital visit over his diabetes.

He had collapsed four times within a year at work, but was fined after attending a hospital appointment in July which he had told his bosses about months earlier.

At the time he wrote to his line manager justifying taking time off for the appointment.

DPD courier fined for taking a day off to see doctor has died from diabetes
The DPD driver had been fined for taking a day off to attend a doctors appointment (Picture: BNPS)

He wrote: ‘I have cancelled so many appointments because I couldn’t make the time to get there that the renal department have stopped treating me. I had to go.’

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But his DPD area manager replied ‘I fail to understand why a full day off was required’, and refused to rescind the fine.

Mrs Lane said DPD had failed in their ‘duty of care’ to her husband and accused them of showing a lack of compassion over his death.

Mrs Lane, 55, said: ‘There has been no letter from head office, no apology. I’ve not heard a word from them. DPD were totally unsympathetic to my husband.

‘The company were abrupt, cold, horrible and uncaring. They failed in their duty of care.’

DPD courier fined for taking a day off to see doctor has died from diabetes
Mrs Lane says that DPD were ‘totally unsympathetic’ and still have not offered her an apology (Picture: BNPS)

She also said that his friends at work would encourage him to go to his appointments but Mr Lane would have to cancel because they had too many deliveries.

‘There was a huge pressure to deliver parcels to tight slots’ she added.

‘He would never get breaks and they would get told off if they missed their time slots. They knew how ill he was. He had collapsed at work in the past.’

DPD courier fined for taking a day off to see doctor has died from diabetes
The Bournemouth depot of DPD on the Ferndown Industrial Estate. The company say they are ‘profoundly sorry’ that they had charged Mr Lane. (Picture: BNPS)

Mrs Lane said that in the days before he died her husband was feeling sick and vomiting blood, but still went into work because he feared being fined.

DPD said in a statement that it was ‘profoundly sorry’ that it had charged Mr Lane.

A DPD spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘Don attended his appointment, but it isn’t clear why he was then charged, when the charge hadn’t been been applied at any other time.

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‘We got it wrong on that occasion. He was given a quiet, rural route with a relatively small number of daily deliveries. The route suited Don as it was convenient for his hospital appointments.

‘In the run up to Christmas it is normal in the industry for drivers to work additional days at the weekend and Don was working his normal route. We weren’t made aware that Don was feeling sick and vomiting up some blood at this time.

‘In relation to Don’s poor health at the end of December 2016 and into January 2017, we refute the claim that he was under pressure and threatened with a £150 charge. We have correspondence confirming that Don had “no worries about being charged”.

‘We were shocked and hugely saddened by Don’s death and our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this difficult time.’

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