Wigan hospital trust pays out thousands to suspended staff
Wigan’s hospital trust has paid out tens of thousands to staff members who have been suspended over the last three years.
A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Local Democracy Reporting Service showed that breach of clinical guidelines, breach of code of conduct and breach of the dignity at work policy were the three key reasons for suspensions in Wigan.
Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation trust (WWL) had fewer than 18 suspensions between 2019 and 2022, with zero enforced so far this year, however paid out £121,799 in salaries to suspended staff over the three years.
The trust has seen a decrease in suspensions though in the last three years, something WWLT has put down to a new disciplinary policy.
WWL director of workforce Alison Balson, said: “We recognise the impact that suspension has on colleagues, and it is a neutral act to protect all parties whilst an investigation takes place. The trust’s disciplinary policy has been reviewed over the past 18 months to look at how we can best support our staff and determine the most appropriate course of action; this may mean adjustments to duties, or the area of work, are implemented, rather than suspension.
“The trust has also implemented processes aligned to the just and learning culture principles, which focuses on restorative justice principles and learning. These changes have significantly reduced the number of suspensions.”
WWL did not give specifics to staff suspensions when the number was below 10 as there is a risk that individual staff members could be identified.