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A former NHS worker at NHS Calderdale was sentenced this week to a four month suspended jail sentence and a twelve month supervision order for failing to return wages paid to her by the hospital trust after she had left her job.

The worker had left her job in 2007 to have a baby and was aware that she would not be entitled to statutory maternity payments as she had only worked for the trust for a short period.  However, her wages recommenced in 2008 due to an error in the trust’s payment system and she continued to receive such payments until the beginning of 2010.

Although she was aware of the error, she did not inform the trust of this and instead spent all of the £21,883.45 paid to her.  The case was referred to the NHS Counter Fraud Service who brought the prosecution against her.

The case highlights the need for workers and employees to keep a watch over their bank accounts and to check their pay slips when received.  Payments received in error will usually be required to be reimbursed, which can cause problems if the worker has already spent the money, even if he or she was not aware of its presence.

Employers also need to regularly audit their payment systems and keep accurate records of payments made.  It is astonishing that the erroneous payments were made for nearly two years without the trust discovering them.


Written by Andrew Hodges

February 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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