As employees of Salisbury District Hospital, we can choose to work extra shifts alongside our normal hours.

These shifts are called bank shifts and are open to employees who choose or need to work them. The hospital relies very heavily on bank nurses to fill shifts which are not filled on the regular rota.

Therefore it has come as a tremendous shock to be notified by HMRC that I owe them £6,000 to cover bank shifts I have worked over the past few years.

Many colleagues have received these letters with one of them owing £12,000. At no time were we informed that these shifts would be counted as a second job, and would be so heavily taxed.

Since receiving my bill, I have spoken several times to the finance department at Salisbury hospital who informed me I should have taken note of my tax code and to contact HMRC.

On contacting them I was told to speak to the finance department at Salisbury hospital.

So between the two of them, I’ve basically been told that it’s my fault that I wasn’t aware that I would be taxed this large amount of money and I need to repay it. Call me naive, but surely this information should have been available to us before undertaking bank shifts.

There is a national shortage of nurses and people are leaving the profession as never before.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Royal College of Nurses and senior management all seem to be perplexed as to why this is happening. Well, here’s a clue: 12.5 hour shifts with insufficient staff causing dangerous working conditions for staff and unsafe conditions for patients.

Management who either don’t know or don’t care about the reality of working conditions on the wards. Paying a £120 fee yearly to have the privilege of working in these conditions and of course working extra bank shifts which are readily available to all but don’t forget, you will end up paying it all back in tax.

Name and address supplied

Editor's note: Salisbury District Hospital was contacted for a response but was unable to comment on individual financial circumstances.

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