NHS embroiled in pay claims row

NHS AYRSHIRE and Arran has nearly topped the charts for unresolved equal pay claims amidst fears of a “financial time bomb” for health boards.

With 1632 unresolved claims, or 1325 taking into account duplicate claims, NHS Ayrshire and Arran were second only to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which boasted 4142 as yet unresolved. Only NHS Orkney had no outstanding claims.

The figures emerged last week in answer to a question from Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie. She is now demanding assurance from the Scottish Government that patient care will not suffer as a result of payouts.

The Conservatives said the NHS has already spent £586,475 on equal pay claims, averaging £4,159 per case. If applied to the outstanding claims, this would mean a potential bill of £41 million.

Patricia Leiser, Director of People and Organisational Development at NHS Ayrshire and Arran, said the majority of unresolved claims were unlikely to be successful due either to limited liability or failure of the claimant to identify a male comparator paid more on the basis of gender.