NURSES are facing a fraud probe over allegations they earned thousands in bogus overtime claims.

Payments were allegedly made to the three NHS Lanarkshire nurses for shifts they had not actually worked out of a fund intended to reduce waiting times. All three have been suspended pending investigation.

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The Scottish Government’s Waiting List Initiative provides extra cash to health boards to help them employ more staff.

Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health, Monica Lennon MSP said: “This is money earmarked for cutting waiting times so that the public can get the care they need as soon as possible.

“If such a problem could exist in NHS Lanarkshire then it is clear it may also be occurring elsewhere in our NHS.”

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John White, Director of Human Resources at NHS Lanarkshire said they would not comment on matters relating to individual employees.

The Scottish Government said: “Direct employment issues are a matter for the health board. We have been clear that all funding should be monitored and used appropriately.”

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The three nurses were employed at Monklands Hospital in Airdrie and Wishaw General in Lanarkshire.

Some nurses can earn up to £300 at a time for performing extra work.