DIABETES DISGRACE Diabetic courier died after being fined by parcel firm DPD for taking day off to see doctor

Company apologised for £150 penalty handed to Don Lane, admitting: 'We got it wrong on that occasion'

06 February 2018 - 12:52

A DIABETIC courier for parcel giant DPD died from the disease after he was fined by the firm for taking a day off to see his doctor, it has emerged.

Don Lane, 53, missed a string of appointments with specialists in a bid to avoid £150 daily penalties if he was unable to find cover, his wife has alleged.

Diabetic courier Don Lane died from the disease after he was fined for taking a day off to see his doctor

But he was hit by one in July after he went to see a doctor about eye damage, The Guardian reports.

The newspaper claims it came after he had collapsed twice at the wheel of his van while on his rounds.

He is said to have collapsed again in September and finally in late December having worked through illness during the Christmas rush.

He died at the Royal Bournemouth hospital on January 4, leaving behind a widow, Ruth, and a 22-year-old son.

 Don worked for parcel giant DPD for 19 years before his death in January
 
Don worked for parcel giant DPD for 19 years before his death in January
 Don's wife Ruth alleges he missed a string of appointments to avoid £150-a-day penalties
 
Don's wife Ruth alleges he missed a string of appointments to avoid £150-a-day penalties

Don, from Christchurch, Dorset, had worked for DPD for 19 years.

The firm treats its drivers as self-employed. They are paid per parcel delivered. They own their own franchise and run their own business. They are then contracted by DPD to make deliveries.

Ruth told the Guardian: “There was a constant threat of a fine. They had to deliver the parcels to tight slots and the pressure to get them done was huge.

“He wasn’t able to do his parcels first and make the hospital appointments, so he would cancel on the day.”

 Don is said to have collapsed behind the wheel of his van while on his rounds
 
Don is said to have collapsed behind the wheel of his van while on his rounds
 DPD drivers are treated as self-employed and are paid per parcel delivered
 
DPD drivers are treated as self-employed and are paid per parcel delivered

She claims DPD failed in its duty of care to ensure Don made his hospital appointments.

Don disputed the £150 charge in July, insisting that he had told his bosses about the appointment months earlier, but the firm refused to rescind it.

During the appointment, doctors found his blood pressure and cholesterol were high, he had anaemia and rising levels of creatine in his kidneys, a warning sign of renal failure.

In September 2017 he collapsed into another diabetic coma, according to his wife.

 The parcel giant has apologised for the fining Don, saying: 'We got it wrong on that occasion'
 
The parcel giant has apologised for the fining Don, saying: 'We got it wrong on that occasion'

She also claims he was vomiting blood in the days before his death.

In a statement DPD said that it was “profoundly sorry” that it charged Don, adding: “We got it wrong on that occasion”.

But they stressed: “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.”

They said they monitored Don’s health during 2017 and spoke to him about it on several occasions but did not know that he had suffered another diabetic coma in September.

It said he had a quiet rural route with a relatively small number of deliveries, which suited him “as it was convenient for his hospital appointments”.

They added: “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. 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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