Staff working in Nottingham hospitals earned £3.3m in overtime last year by working nearly 200,000 extra hours, a slight decrease from the previous year.
Nottingham University Hospitals (NUH) Trust staff clocked up a total of 183,247 extra hours throughout 2014. Although this is a decrease from the previous year, which saw the NHS spending £3.4m, many staff members worked more.
“Our most recent results for NUH show that 60 per cent of staff work some additional hours that they’re not paid for.” – Royal College of Nursing
While medical and dental staff worked 11,580 hours last year, an increase from 8,323, healthcare scientists worked nearly double the amount of overtime in 2014 increasing from 12,231 to 24,254.
Registered midwives and nurses racked up the most overtime for the second consecutive year. In the past two years they have accrued 96,959 hours and the trust has said it will be “proactively recruiting” in an attempt to reduce the figures. Mandie Sunderland, Chief Nurse at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust said “Our preference is always to have permanent NUH nurses to ensure continuity of care, which is best for our patients.
“When there are staff shortages we try to cover these shifts by staff choosing to work extra hours or by using bank and agency staff or overtime. Use of bank and agency nurses is always our last resort.
“While recruiting trained nurses is a challenge for hospitals up and down the country, we actively recruit abroad to fill our vacancies. Last year in total we spent £188million on nurses. This year [2014/15] we will spend £5.7million more than last to expand teams such as our falls team and staff the wards we opened over winter to support the unprecedented pressures on our emergency services.” Unpaid Overtime The figures from the NHS come following the large amount of A&E patients that flooded the QMC and City Hospitals in Nottingham which led to the worst waiting times in over a decade. A campaign was launched this week, by the Royal College of Nursing encouraging nurses to claim back unpaid overtime. In a statement they said “There has been huge pressure on hospital trusts over the past five years to save money. Our most recent results for NUH show that 60 per cent of staff work some additional hours that they’re not paid for. “We’re not saying that they must seek time off in lieu of payment for extra hours but they need to look after themselves because if they’re not getting rest, not getting re-cooperation, it might risk delivering quality care.”