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JobCentre Sends Letter Calling Man For Interview- On The Day Of His Funeral

March 20, 2015

A DISTRAUGHT Burntwood mother who informed Lichfield Job Centre Plus that her son was in intensive care and too ill to attend an interview has told the Mercury how she received another letter from them after his death, calling him for an interview on the day of his funeral.

Gregory Sproston, who suffered from the rare condition Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, died on February 8.

The 38-year-old had been asked to attend a “work-focused interview” at Lichfield Job Centre Plus, part of the Department for Work and Pensions, on February 5 but his mum Rose phoned beforehand to tell staff that this would not be possible as he was in intensive care at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield.

She also asked that no more letters be sent due to the seriousness of Gregory’s condition but Job Centre Plus sent a letter for a rescheduled interview on February 26, the day of his funeral.


“They don’t listen to what they are being told,” said Rose, of Rochester Avenue.

“Do they not understand what an intensive care ward is? I called to explain Gregory’s condition and I wrote to them but they did not have the decency to reply.

“They did not even acknowledge that I had written, which I think is really, really bad.”

Rose said that prior to his illness Gregory was an energetic, fit person who loved life enjoying swimming, badminton, judo and squash, playing the organ and the clarinet.

Gregory’s health started to decline in 2010. He contracted pneumonia and his body began to blow up with fluid.

After collapsing at home the following year he was diagnosed.

The Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension left him with very little energy.

He had to sleep downstairs propped up on pillows in an effort to keep his lungs clear and had oxygen supplied to help him breathe at night.

Doctors said he needed a heart and lung transplant.

Gregory worked for as long as he could, latterly as a chef, claiming benefits to supplement money earned from 16 hours a week employment.

However as his illness progressed Gregory worked less and less hours and by December last year he was hospitalised.

Rose believes her son was unfairly treated by the DWP and has written to Michael Fabricant MP for help.

“The system needs to change,” said Rose.

“People who are ill with a health problem that is not going to go away should not be hounded until they die – where is their compassion? I don’t want anyone else to suffer as my son suffered.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said:

“Jobcentre Plus staff aimed to provide the right support to Mrs Sproston’s son at all times.

“We have written to express our condolences for her loss and give a full explanation.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Andrew rich permalink
    March 20, 2015 1:01 am

    Do these people have any heart. They all seem to love there jobs too much. One day the boot will be on the other foot.

  2. March 20, 2015 3:57 am

    As this lady is also in Staffordshire, then I think I know why there is this chaos.

    The addresses we send stuff to is a royal mail sorting office (saw it on Google earth on an industrial estate).

    One office does not know what the other is doing.

    One deals with one thing, then another.

    Then there is a private contractor who seems to have nil correspondence with the state run offices.

    After 6 months of being told I had not been successful, I got a letter from Atos telling me to reply or I would be sanctioned off benefit.

    Benefit I had never received.

    Benefit I never got a penny, but the DWP told Inland Revenue I had been receiving for 6 months.

    Inland Revenue tried to raise my tax code and take my tiny works pension.

    Fortunately I kept a file of every daft correspondence from all sources, always cross referencing between all addresses.

    And knew enough to ring Inland Revenue direct.

    But as I had no address for Atos I could not do that.

    And all this cruel nonesense is supposed to save money, when it costs tens of billions and rising each year, whilst the money to the starving is reducing by the billion each year.

    And all that happens to the sanctioned is that they are the massive rise in malnutrition hospital admissions, informed by doctors and not monitored by the state.

    The state also does not monitor the hunger sympton of Rickets in kids, affecting their bone development, from the sanctioned parents.

    In Lichfield, this lady could take solace in knowing that DWP and Atos, and now Maximus that is charging double what Atos did, may indeed be soon out of business.

    In Lichfield a party to vote for, just to be awkward, for the first time is:

    Class War – Andy Bennetts – double dole and double pension.

    Because the Tory MP that is the MP for Lichfield is part of a government with this total lack of compassion and decency.

    See my website of what Class War’s logo will look like by the box where you put your pencil cross on Thursday 7 May

    The top parties in 2010 of Tories and Lib Dems in the Lichfield voting area, have been the cause of the pain and cruelty we have suffered by the millions and worse to come from 2015 if the Tories remain in office and the Lib Dems still exist after 7 May.

    Voting small left wing parties will keep the Tories out of power.

    Otherwise The Tories will just sit in parliament and not leave. Yes, that is what some are talking about.

    One laudable event Class War did in the past was:

    … On 3 November 2007, Class War were involved in a new ‘Bash the Rich’ event – marching on the home of the leader of the Conservative Party – David Cameron. Around 80-100 people turned out the event, …

    Another one was the Poor Doors demonstrations against the rich telling the poor in London flats not to use the front door to the flats used by the rich residents.

    Class War then telling tramps to sleep rough in front of the rich doors.

    Class War will not form the government by themselves, of course.

    But the more MPs from small left wing parties get into Westminster, the more chance of ousting both Tory and Lib Dems out of government.

    No single party will be able to form a government this year. Those days are long gone from now on.

    So there is no such thing as a small party.

    And the poor now outnumber all other voters, especially in England.

  3. March 20, 2015 7:15 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  4. March 20, 2015 3:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Notes from the north.

  5. March 21, 2015 9:55 am

    As the numbers of the dead keep rising, now in the thousands as a direct and sometimes indirect result of the abuse of power by this effectively unelected government we must continue to insist on a full investigation of this government by an independent body such as the United Nations and that investigation should be conducted under the full glare of the world media to ensure that everyone answers for the crimes against humanity that they were responsìble for. DAVID CAMERON, IAN DUNCAN SMITH the buck stops with you. But lets not forget the thousands of DWP staff who “were only doing their jobs”. Just like the germans who ran the concentration camps, they should also be held to account.

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