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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 November, 2004, 21:04 GMT
Hospital overpays doctors 290k
Royal Hampshire County Hospital
The senior doctors may have to do overtime to pay the money back
A cash-strapped hospital is negotiating with a group of its senior doctors to recoup 290,000 that it has overpaid them by mistake.

The unnamed consultants received the money over several years at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester.

Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust said the error happened when payments for long service and good performance were wrongly processed.

The hospital is struggling with debts of 5m and may have to cut jobs.

Overtime suggestion

A spokeswoman from the NHS trust said: "Discussions with the consultants to recoup the money are going well and we remain committed to recovering the full amount.

"The doctors in question will not be named as this is a personal matter."

One proposal by the chief executive of the trust, Rod Halls, is that the consultants pay back 85% of the money and make up the rest by working overtime.

The doctors were paid the money in error in the form of a bonus called distinction points.

Doug Smith, a representative for all the unions at the hospital, said: "We are very concerned about this because the trust has been talking about redundancies."

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