NHS worker ‘in tears’ after NatWest make comment about dead dad

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An NHS worker was "left in tears" after NatWest made reference to his dead dad, in a letter of apology.

William Coughlin said the "insensitive" incident happened after he visited the Lord Street bank branch, in Southport, on April 27.

The 48-year-old said, despite wearing his NHS badge, he was told he would have to wait in the 30 minute queue like everyone else.

After getting home Mr Coughlin said he made a complaint to NatWest, in which he stated he was unhappy at having to wait outside as he was clearly an NHS worker.

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However after receiving a letter of apology, from NatWest regarding the incident, Mr Coughlin was "left distraught" to see the bank had mentioned his father, who died 25 years ago.

In the letter, seen by the ECHO, NatWest apologised to Mr Coughlin and said the bank did have a policy of “prioritising NHS workers” and for their error awarded him £25 compensation.

Near the end of the letter, however, NatWest go on to apologise for the "upset caused to both you and your father".

Mr Coughlin told the ECHO the letter has since caused him "lots of trauma" and brought back painful memories.

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He said: “I have been distraught and crying – it brought back bad memories before his death.

“What evidence do NatWest have to indicate my father was present with me last week at the bank?

“My father passed away around twenty-five years ago.

“I find this very sad and insensitive that a member of their team could put such comments in a letter considering my father is no longer alive.”

If you have been affected by any of the details mentioned in this story there are people who can help you.

Most people grieve when they lose something or someone important to them.

The way grief affects you depends on lots of things, including what kind of loss you have suffered, your upbringing, your beliefs or religion, your age, your relationships, and your physical and mental health.

Grieving is a totally normal process but there are way to get help if you need support.

Your GP is a good place to start. They can give you advice about other support services, refer you to a counsellor, or prescribe medication if needed.

Or you can contact support organisations directly, such as Cruse Bereavement Care (0808 808 1677) Samaritans (116 123) or Love Jasmine.

Mr Coughlin said he now wants a further apology from the bank and added: “I also want a decent amount of compensation and [assurance] that it won’t ever happen again.”

NatWest told the ECHO it was following up the complaint directly with the customer.

A NatWest spokesperson said: "We apologise for Mr Coughlin’s unsatisfactory experience while visiting the Southport branch and will be in touch to offer compensation for the distress caused.

"We are doing everything we can to support our customers who are NHS and key workers.

"For NHS workers who need urgent support, we offer a dedicated phone line, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (0800 0462 418) where our team of experts are ready to help with emergency banking support.”

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