NHS staff at UK hospital forced to repay Christmas bonuses paid to them in error - health chief ‘really sorry’

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NHS staff were awarded the bonuses for picking up shifts in the lead up to Christmas 2022.

NHS staff at a UK hospital are furious  after they were forced to repay Christmas bonuses during the cost of living crisis. The extra payments were issued to reward workers who picked up extra night shifts over the festive period.

Nurses, doctors and other professions at the Milton Keynes University Hospital were issued with a bonus of up to £300.  Though due to an error made by the facility, they were told on Christmas Eve to give it all back - including the tax.

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The Buckinghamshire hospital had launched a new scheme to get staff to work night shifts in the lead up to Christmas that were proving difficult to fill. Workers had to take on between five and 10 shifts between its launch and December.

An error meant ineligible staff received the extra payment. It is thought that this has only impacted a small number of employees but various complaints have been issued.

Milton Keynes University Hospital has since apologised to staff affected by the mistake. Joe Harrison, the chief executive of Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Trust and Kate Jarman, who is the director of corporate affairs for the facility both issued apologies.

Writing on  Twitter Ms. Jarman explained how  the Trust will work with “angered” staff to minimise the financial impact. She stated: “We’ve made a bit of a mess of an additional shift payment that’s affected a small number of people’s pay @mkhospital – if you’re affected you’ll already know. So sorry this has happened.

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“We are unpicking exactly how it did but it’s really upset and angered those affected completely understandably. Again, I am really sorry, it shouldn’t have happened.

“There’s a little bit more info in today’s weekly message but we are still trying to understand what happened and why. More info to come but just wanted to acknowledge it and apologise.”

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