Ex Gratia Payment Policy

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					 This is an official Northern Trust policy and should not be edited in any way



                             Ex Gratia Payment Policy
Reference Number:

NHSCT/10/286
Target audience:


Sources of advice in relation to this document:

Alex Lynch, Trust Corporate Risk Manager

Replaces (if appropriate):

Legacy Homefirst Trust’s Ex Gratia Payment Policy


Type of Document:

Trust Wide Policy
Approved by:

Northern Trust Senior Management Team

Date Approved:

9 February 2010

Date Issued by Policy Unit:

5 May 2010
                                  NHSCT Mission Statement
 To provide for all the quality of services we would expect for our families and ourselves




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                        Northern Health & Social Care Trust

                                Ex Gratia Payment Policy

Introduction

An ex gratia payment may be made in compensation for hardship, or for loss or damage
to personal property resulting from an act or failure of the Trust in circumstances where,
whilst there is no liability or legal obligation to do so, it is considered that there is a strong
moral obligation to do so to alleviate hardship and as a gesture of goodwill.

DHSSPS Circular

DHSSPS Circular HSS(F)38/98 entitled “Guidance on Losses and Special Payments”
addresses the subject of ex-gratia payments.

Conditions of Payment

•   Ex gratia payments to staff for loss of, or damage to personal possessions may be
    made where the following conditions/exclusions apply: -

    a) The incident occurs in the course of the performance of official Trust duties;
    b) The article lost or damaged is such as might reasonably be carried in the
       performance of those duties;
    c) The article is sufficiently robust for the treatment it might reasonably be expected to
       bear;
    d) The loss or damage is not due to the officer’s own negligence;
    e) The loss or damage arises from an act or failure on the part of the Trust;
    f) The loss or damage is not covered by insurance or by any provision for free
       replacement.

•   No payments are to be made for building contractor hardship. Such claims must be
    referred to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS)
    with full supporting detail.

•   Ex gratia payments may be made to service users to compensate for loss of or
    damage to personal property. The responsible Trust officer eg a Ward Manager or a
    Head of Unit, must ensure that every effort is made to minimise loss of personal
    effects and property. Patients/residents should be made aware of the risk of not
    passing over property for safe-keeping and that the Trust will not accept responsibility
    for any property not consigned to the Trust for safe-keeping.

•   Ex gratia payments will only be made for the loss/theft of cash in exceptional
    circumstances.



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Maximum Authorisation Levels

In conjunction with Trust Corporate Risk Manager:

Assistant Director                    - up to £250

Director                              - between £250 and £2,000

Chief Executive                       - over £2,000

For claims with a value above £5000 the Governance Department, following the approval of
the Chief Executive, relevant Director and Director of Finance, will seek approval for
payment from the DHSSPS with any such request providing whatever information is
required to allow a decision to be made.

Foster Carers

Ex-gratia payments may be made to foster carers for damage to the carer’s property where
caused by the action of any child placed in their care by the Trust.

The Trust would also encourage all foster carers to have their own house and contents
insurance and to notify their insurance company, in writing, that they are fostering as failure
to do so may affect their cover.

Where the damage to property may have a detrimental affect on the carer’s livelihood an
ex-gratia payment may also be considered in compensation for hire of equipment and loss
of earnings. However, the Trust will expect every effort to be made to secure replacement
items as quickly as possible and to evidence equipment hire and loss of earning with
appropriate receipts and other documentation as appropriate.

Car Insurance

Staff must ensure that they are insured to use their car on official business if travelling
expenses are claimed for. Where the employee is required to carry Trust goods or
equipment in their car, they must have an assurance in writing from their insurance
company that this does not invalidate their cover. In respect of foster carers, the Trust
advises that their car insurance should be fully comprehensive and it is the responsibility of
foster carers to advise their insurance company (in writing) that they are fostering to ensure
passengers are covered. It is the responsibility of staff or foster carers to ensure that their
car is adequate for the number of passengers carried, for the purposes of their duties and
that use of seat belts is in accordance with the law.

Procedure For Making A Claim

•   Potential claims must be notified immediately upon occurrence or discovery of the loss
    or damage and claim forms must be submitted to line management within 3 weeks.

•   Complete the claim form. (Appendix 1 refers) Claim forms may also be requested from
    the Governance Department (Tel 9442 4635)

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•   All supporting documentation, for example, receipts, invoices, estimates on suppliers
    official stationery or stamped with dealers official stamp must accompany claim forms.

•   Forward the claim form and any other relevant documentation to the Head of
    Department, eg Head of Unit, Ward Manager or Team Leader, responsible for, as
    applicable, the staff member concerned or the service area during which provision the
    service user has suffered loss or damaged.

•   All damaged items must be retained for inspection by the Trust until a decision on
    payment has been made and communicated.

Investigation and Approval Process

•   The relevant line manager will investigate the claim as soon as possible after its
    notification of them and will complete whatever investigations considered necessary and
    appropriate to establish the authenticity of the loss or damaged claimed. Investigations
    must not be delayed whilst awaiting the claim form. The claim form and supporting
    documentation, with a recommendation on validity of the claim, should be passed to the
    relevant authorising officer, in keeping with the claim value, for signature recommending
    that payment to be made and its value.

•   Authorised claim forms and supporting documentation will be forwarded to Governance
    Department who will consider the appropriateness of the claim for payment as an ex
    gratia payment.

•   Where considered appropriate the Governance Department will make a written offer of
    payment to the claimant with Finance Department then being asked to make payment
    when acceptance is confirmed.

•   If payment is not considered to be appropriate, and following discussion with the
    relevant Director, the Governance Department will write to the claimant explaining the
    basis for that decision.

•   In all matters relating to ex gratia payments the Trust reserves the final decision on what
    is regarded as reasonable and appropriate in the given circumstances.



                                                                                January 2010




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                                                                          Appendix 1




                             Ex Gratia Payment Claim Form



     Name of Claimant      ____________________________________________________

     Status of Claimant: Service User     Employee     Foster Carer   Other

     Address/ Facility   ____________________________________________________

                         ____________________________________________________

                         ____________________________________________________

     Postcode            ___________________ Telephone __________________


     If Foster Care Placement: Name:                        DOB _________________

     Location where loss or damage occurred:
     ______________________________________________________________________

     Date ____________________          Time ___________am / pm

     Explain fully how the loss or damage occurred

     _______________________________________________________________________

     _______________________________________________________________________

     _______________________________________________________________________

     _______________________________________________________________________

     _______________________________________________________________________

     _______________________________________________________________________

     _______________________________________________________________________


1.   When was the loss / damage discovered?

     Date _________________              Time ____________________ am / pm


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2.      Incident Report Form Number:        ______________________________

3.      By whom was the discovery made? __________________________________

4.      When was the property last seen? ___________________________________

5.      Have the police been notified?             YES / NO

        If yes, Officer’s Name:__________________Station:___________________

6.      Are you the sole owner of the property?    YES / NO

        If NO please give details ___________________________________________

        ________________________________________________________________

7.      Have you or do you intend to make a claim against any other Insurer
        for this loss/damage?                      YES / NO

        If YES please give details __________________________________________

        ________________________________________________________________

8.      Particulars of Loss

(I)     Details of building(s) or article(s) in respect of which this claim is
        made
        ________________________________________________________________

        ________________________________________________________________

(Ii)    Date purchased or received ________________________ Cost £ ___________

(iii)   Cost of replacement/ repair £_________________________________________
        (Receipts / Estimates to be attached)

(iv)    Value at time of loss/damage after allowing for wear & tear £_______________

(v)     Amount claimed £ __________________________________________________

Signed __________________________ Title _____________ Date _______________
       (Claimant)

Circumstances verified: _________________Title ____________ Date__________
                        (Head of Department)

Payment Recommended: _____________________Title _____________ Date __________
                     (Authorising Officer)

Payment Approved: __________________________Title _____________ Date __________
                      (Corporate Risk Manager)

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