YEP Says, February 26: Shocking text that should never have been sent

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...and a fresh start for Morrisons

You really couldn’t make it up.

It may be an overworked phrase but there can be no other response to the shocking story featured on our front page today.

John and Patricia Wood were in mourning following the death of their son, Darren, from a stroke at the all-too-young age of 42. Darren collapsed at home on February 3 and died a short time later at St James’s Hospital.

Despite their grief, John and Patricia were comforted by the care, expertise and kindness of the hospital staff.

But imagine their utter dismay when, just two days after their beloved son’s death, they noticed a text message on his phone asking for his comments on his treatment in A&E.

We’ve all seem them, these automated messages; sent by GPs’ surgeries to remind us when we have an appointment due, by opticians inviting us to an eye test, by mail companies to let us know a parcel is ready for collection and so on and so forth.

But sending a text to a man who has died? Clearly there’s been an error somewhere. A glitch in an automated system? A box not ticked? Undoubtedly the Woods deserve a fulsome explanation and apology.

As interaction between individuals and institutions becomes more and more automated, safeguards need to be in place to ensure this never happens again.

A fresh start for Morrisons

IF anyone should appreciate the founding principles of good service and value for money that helped to establish Morrisons as a major retailer it is new chief executive David Potts.

Having started his career in supermarkets as a shelf stacker at Tesco, Mr Potts rose to become one of the chain’s senior executives and, having departed in 2011, is untainted by the recent accounting scandal.

The challenge facing him is to reconnect with shoppers who have gone to budget rivals such as Aldi and Lidl, while honing its online operation, to which Morrisons was a late arrival. It will be no mean feat – but at least Mr Potts has Sir Ken’s seal of approval.

PIC: Simon Hulme

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