9:33am Wednesday 8th January 2014
By Chris Warne
NURSES working on the Jubilee ward at Stroud General Hospital were left out of pocket and struggling to make ends meet over the Christmas period after an administrative blunder meant they did not receive their full salaries in time for the holidays.
This week, around 20 staff were still waiting for their overtime pay, which for many makes up the bulk of their salary.
Despite repeated promises from hospital bosses that it would be paid into their accounts, nurses were still waiting to be paid as the Stroud News & Journal went to press.
A source who contacted the SNJ said nurses were angry and upset at the mix up which has left some members of staff hundreds of pounds out of pocket for working unsocial hours.
Many of the nurses were left 'financially crippled' over the festive period, unable to afford to buy presents for loved ones and family, the source said.
Some of those affected also incurred bank and overdraft charges, whilst others struggled to meet mortgage repayments and the cost of their regular household bills, forcing several individuals to borrow money to cover their outgoings.
The nurses were due to be paid on December 20 but when they weren’t bosses promised payment on Friday, January 3.
When on Friday they again did not receive the money they were owed, hospital management assured them that they would be paid in full on Monday, January 6.
However, by the end of the working day on Monday the affected staff were still waiting to be paid.
“The nurses have only received a fraction of their salary because the increments for the unsocial hours they worked have not been included,” the source said.
“It’s left nurses on the ward furious and very stressed out. It was their last pay packet before Christmas and a lot of them were relying on it to do their Christmas shopping.
“Many of the nurses have done vast amounts of overtime which hasn’t been paid. For some people you are talking about in excess of £1,500 that they have had to go without.”
In a statement, Susan Field, director of adult services for Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, said: “We take our responsibilities as an employer very seriously and were first alerted just before Christmas that a number of our nurses at Stroud General Hospital had not been paid for additional hours worked during November.
"These extra hours – which included overtime and/or payment for working unsocial hours - should have been paid on top of their core salary in December.
"We have taken immediate steps to investigate, so that we can understand how this has happened and take the necessary steps to prevent it being repeated.
"In this, we have been working closely with NHS Shared Business Services (SBS) which provides payroll services for the Trust, and also with those nursing colleagues affected.
"In the meantime, we have authorised SBS to make the payments owed this week, rather than wait for the next pay run at the end of January.
"I am sorry for the inconvenience this has caused, especially as it coincided with Christmas which tends to be a more expensive time of year for everyone.”
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