Felixstowe: Widower upset at NHS letter sent to late wife

Charles and Eve Dewen.

Charles and Eve Dewen. - Credit: Archant

A Suffolk man says he was left distraught after receiving a letter from the NHS asking about a wheelchair used by his wife, who died more than three years ago.

Charles Dewen, 75, said the letter for his wife Eve was sent by Suffolk Community Healthcare, now operated by Serco, about its Ipswich Wheelchair Service.

The letter was informing Mrs Dewen, who died at the age of 80 in March 2010, that a new repair contract had been awarded for the wheelchair she had on loan from the health service.

Mr Dewen, of Kingsfleet Road, Felixstowe, said: “I could not believe it when the letter arrived.

“It wasn’t just any old circular from some company that wouldn’t have known us, but from the health service which should know exactly our situation.

“Eve died more than three years ago. If it had been a few months afterwards I might not be so concerned.

“We used to take her out along the seafront in her wheelchair but we handed it back at when she died.

Most Read

“I think it is disgusting to send someone a letter like this.

“It really upset me and brought back a lot of hurt.”

Mrs Dewen died in The Firs residential home in Grange Road, Felixstowe, where she was cared for in the later years of her life.

She had been suffering from respiratory disease for some years.

Ian Wallace, Serco’s head of enabling services, said: “We are very sorry for the distress caused to Mr Dewen and would like to assure him that this will not happen again.

“We understand how upsetting this kind of error can be and are taking action to update our database so we can inform the right patients about the changes we are making to improve community health services in Suffolk.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter