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Trust refers 248 staff to debt collectors after salary overpayments

Barts and the London Trust referred 248 of its staff to debt collectors after overpaying them by a total of £1m last year, reveal documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

The trust, which is now part of Barts Health Trust, also made a similar level of overpayments to staff in 2010-11, according to a set of reports obtained by Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal.

One of the reports noted that 82% of overpayments were because of late notification of the payroll department that staff had left or changed their hours.

It highlighted one example that was not picked up for more than three years and led to an overpayment of more than £126,000 to a doctor who has since left the trust. The individual was paid a banding supplement for on-call duties of £4,000 a month but, since July 2007, had no responsibilities for such duties.

The finance department raised the issue with the head of human resources in May 2011, at which point an invoice for repayment was issued and a debt collection agency instructed. The overpayment is now being repaid.

One of the reports recommended overpayments to existing staff should be recovered by deductions from their salary. It said: “Where the overpayment is relatively large compared with salary received, deductions should still be made so that a level of net salary of, for example, 60% remains.”

A trust spokeswoman was unable at present to tell Nursing Times whether any nursing staff were affected.

In a statement the trust said: “Barts Health is currently piloting a new electronic system which will enable managers to provide payroll with the most up-to-date information in the most timely way.”

Readers' comments (10)

  • £4,000 a month for being on-call. What ????

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  • £4,000 a month for on call doctors. That is two months nurses salary . what a waste of money.

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  • what a shocking way to treat nhs staff. the debts will probably go against them in their credit history through no fault of their own.

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  • They must have known they were being overpaid, I certainly would so they deserve all they get

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  • nasty!

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  • There is legal protection for employees when it comes to overpayment of salaries. So l hope that all those affected contact their unions.

    It used to be the case that if an overpayment occured over a period of time and the person could not reasonably have been expected to notice this on their wage slips and they had spent the money as part of their normal household budget, then the overpayment may not have to be paid back.

    If an overpayment could have been noted, then it was paid back at the rate it was overpaid.

    Using debt collecting agencies is now common place with the public sector, what concerns me is that therir reputations are not always that good, if TV programmes are anything to go by!!

    Seek advice if you are afected by this.

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  • What are the Unions doing about this?

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  • Anonymous | 10-Jan-2013 1:38 pm

    good, constructive and helpful comment. shame they are not always that way in NT where one would expect the purpose an exchange of views and experiences is to enable professionals to inform one another in order to enhance their practice and their lives.

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  • Florence

    I was over -paid for two months on one occasion.I had moved from a night duty post to a post on mainly days but with nights once a month.They had some how been paying me for two weeks night duty a month ! I did check with my Manager who said she thought my pay slip was correct. This was many years ago ( about 1995). Of course hindsight is a beautiful thing . Obviously I should have talked to HR, Finance and the RCN.
    The Trust simply took the money ( probarly about £ 300 ) out of my wage over a period of two months and that settled it. Of course I recieved the correct written information about how it would be done.
    If I had been referred to a Debt collector it would have had implications for me in terms of my credit history.
    Needless to say since Ive always been very careful in checking my pay slip.

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  • Anonymous | 9-Jan-2013 7:08 pm

    ignorant comment

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