WORKFORCE: Barts and the London Trust made salary overpayments totalling nearly £1m in the last financial year, it can be revealed.

The trust, one of the component trusts when Barts Health Trust was created at the start of April, confirmed to HSJ it had made overpayments in 2011-12 of £995,000.

A report to the last board meeting said in response to the problems the trust was “introducing simpler electronic forms for reporting staff leavers and
management guidelines have been reissued. From December, managers down to ward-level will receive a report for approval showing who they are responsible for paying and the potential for full positive reporting is being investigated.

“If possible, we will begin with a pilot in areas where e-rostering is being utilised. Over the longer term, full positive reporting will become possible with the roll out and harmonisation of e-rostering. Data on salary overpayments will be reviewed at performance review meetings and reported to the trust management board monthly. Repeat offenders will be subject to disciplinary action.”

A spokeswoman for the trust said the overpayments formed only 0.25 per cent of the total pay bill of £393m and added only £275,000 of the total overpayment remained to be recovered and was “being actively pursued”.

In a statement the trust said: “Salary overpayments can occur when an individual’s circumstances change – for example when they reduce their hours or leave the trust -  and this information is not passed to payroll in time to meet the processing deadline. To avoid this happening, 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.  

“We rigorously pursue all salary overpayments and are confident that this new additional measure will help further to avoid their occurrence in the first place.”