Blundering housing bosses told a shocked Soham man his 82-year-old dad had died – but the retired railway signalman was alive and well.
They sent Mark Bailey, 44, a letter offering condolences and demanding £75.67 for care services his dad, Ron, received at Soham’s Milbrook House care home during October and November.
Mark, the secretary for Soham Town Rangers Football Club, only discovered it was an error when he frantically called his dad’s phone – and he answered.
Bungling officials at the Sanctuary Group housing association, which runs Milbrook House, in Lode Close, should have written to relatives of a Roy Bailey, from Ely, who had just died.
Mark, who lives in Soham’s Gadwell Way, said: “When I read the letter my jaw just dropped and all kinds of things started going through my mind.
“I can have a bit of a giggle about it now but for a few minutes I thought my dad was dead. I was in complete and utter shock.
“You don’t expect to get a letter telling you your father has died.”
Grandfather-of-two Ron said: “I think it’s disgraceful. There was a lot of personal information in that letter and for it to be sent to the wrong person is very worrying.
“When Mark rang me he soon realised what must have happened, but my son could have lived in Scotland somewhere and might not have seen me for some time and come rushing down here in his car to find me still alive and that’s not on.
“I’ve had personal apologies from the general manager and the woman who sent the letter but they’re meaningless.”
Donna Culley, Sanctuary’s director of home care, said: “We want to offer our sincerest apologies to the family and reassure them that we are launching an investigation to look into how the error was made.”