Cash strapped NHS trust calls in Debt Collectors

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A NHS Health trust which overpaid staff by £200,000 enlisted the assistance of a firm of Debt Collectors to help try and recoup the money as quickly as possible.

A total of 316 NHS staff were overpaid monies with the highest of amount being overpaid was £1,897 in the financial year for 2015

Bosses at the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust have requested monies to be paid back asap and have accepted that they will have to accept repayment arrangements for staff who cannot afford to pay the whole sum in one payment.

NHS staff members that have since left the trust have been pursued by Debt Collectors  but in total, they have had to write off £20,243 – a figure that would nearly be enough to cover the cost of a low grade nurse for a whole year.

Ian Syme, speaking of behalf of pressure group North Staffordshire Healthwatch, raised concerns about the Trust’s use of a Debt Collection Agency. He told The Sentinel Newspaper  “Past and present staff do have a duty to pay this extra money back but Debt Collectors should not be used”

“After the Fees, Bailiffs & Court Costs are added up, a £100 debt can turn into a £1,000 – all because of an error made by the employer”

It was not stated how Mr Syme proposed the overdue monies should have been recovered.

As a direct result of these overpayments, the Trust has now vowed to make changes to its procedures to prevent this kind of thing happening again.

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