Beds, Herts & Bucks

NHS paid Hatfield councillor Peter Hebden after he quit

Peter Hebden Image copyright Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Image caption Peter Hebden used to work for the NHS, which kept paying his salary months after he left

A councillor has told how he had to ask the NHS to stop paying him - three months after he left the organisation.

Peter Hebden, who represents the Hatfield East ward in Hertfordshire, made the revelation during a budget debate at Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.

He said his full-time salary only stopped being paid when he pointed out the error in writing.

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has been approached for comment.

Conservative councillor Mr Hebden stopped working for the NHS in October 2018 but his salary was paid until January, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

He confirmed that he planned to pay the money back in its entirety and was "waiting for details of that".

Image copyright Google
Image caption Barnet Hospital is one of three run by the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

"Things do appear to move slowly as I have only just received my P45," Mr Hebden said.

"This issue arose due to staff changes in management and the assumption that someone else had completed the necessary paperwork.

"I was employed in middle management so fortunately the amount concerned was not excessive but I am aware this issue previously arose when I was in the Metropolitan Police and safeguards were put in place to prevent a recurrence."

Mr Hebden said he shared the error in a bid "to stress the point that public services require robust governance and efficiency".

Earlier this week, he told the council meeting: "Until October, I worked for the NHS for six years. I had to write to them in January to ask them to stop paying me.

"How many people haven't done that? How many other people are continuing to be paid when they no longer work for them?"

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