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.”