Managers at Torbay Hospital have been accused of “insensitivity” after giving employees a Kit Kat each for winning a prestigious award.
South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospital, was recognised in the Health Service Journal awards for “best innovation, ideas and dedication”, while the hospital itself was named acute healthcare organisation of the year. About 20 of its staff and managers celebrated at the awards ceremony in London and the rest were given Kit Kat vouchers in the hospital’s last round of payslips. Paul Raybould, branch secretary for Torbay at the GMB union, told the BBC that he had received around 30 complaints about the move. “Management got a slap-up meal and we got only a 60p Kit Kat. They feel they are worth more than that,” he said. “It’s a sign of management not thinking outside the box. They have just made themselves a laughing stock.” The hospital’s chief executive, Paula Vasco-Knight, apologised to those workers who were offended. She believed that the gift had been “misinterpreted”, but added that she had received hundreds of thank-you emails from other employees. “It’s a way of thanking everyone – lots of ‘thank yous’ to show that we really appreciate staff. I apologise to staff who felt insulted,” she said, adding that she would “think of other ways of thanking staff”.