Edinburgh Christmas: NHS Lothian blasted after 'nearly 26,000 furious NHS workers face Christmas panic as wages not paid in 'error'

Thousands of healthcare workers failed to receive their December pay cheque on time leaving many in a panic over buying last-minute presents and food shops.

By Shona Elliott
Thursday, 23rd December 2021, 5:31 pm

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In an email to staff last night NHS Lothian bosses said they were "very sorry" to inform them of the mistake, which would see them receive wages on Christmas Eve instead of on December 23.

Even cash advances for staff struggling financially could not be guaranteed until later today.

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NHS Lothian have told staff they will be paid late

Angry key workers have hit out over the error, with some having called the situation “absolutely unacceptable”.

One furious nurse told the Evening News: “I, like most, was relying on this wage to get Christmas food and presents and now have to wait to rush to get everything the day before Christmas.

“We (NHS staff) have put our lives at risk (during the pandemic) and barely get a wage rise. The SNP MPs were awarded a bigger pay rise.

“And to then just be left to deal with this is completely unacceptable on all levels.”

A second member of staff said she has been badly impacted by the change to pay dates and said bosses had assured them earlier in the year that they would be paid as usual this Christmas.

They said: “They (NHS Lothian) have caused me an utter, utter disaster.”

Sincere apology

NHS Lothian confirmed around 25,800 staff have been affected, excluding employees paid weekly or through the bank shift system.

Susan Goldsmith, director of finance at NHS Lothian, has apologised for the extra Christmas stress it will cause workers.

She said: “Every year, NHS Lothian brings forward the pay date for December, which should fall on the last Thursday of every month, by one week to help support staff at Christmas time.

"An error has caused a 24 hour delay in the payment of the monthly December wage for a large number of our staff. As soon as we became aware of the issue, our team worked to rectify the problem but it proved impossible.

"A number of systems have been put in place to support staff facing financial hardship as a result. We are acutely aware of the pressures facing our staff this Christmas and the extra challenges this may bring and I would also like to publicly repeat my sincere apology to all of those affected.”

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