An embattled NHS trust has been criticised for running a leaving collection for its departing chief executive - while accused of blocking overtime pay rates.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust emailed staff asking for donations for chief executive Stuart Richardson last month ahead of his departure from the £315k role.

The trust said the collection was voluntary and was organised at the request of some staff members. 

But the move has come in for criticism from other workers - who claim it comes at a time when they are missing out on overtime pay.

Staff have said the trust has recently made changes to the way overtime is paid - although bosses claim this is not the case.

Workers insist at one point they were paid 1.6x their hourly rate when working overtime - but that this time is now classified as a 'bank shift' and paid at a lower rate.

One worker, who asked not to be named, claimed they had missed out on £1,500 in overtime pay this year.

He said: "It is a bit of a joke that they would be asking for money while we're missing out on overtime pay."

Another worker said many regular staffers are now not working midweek overtime because "the rate just isn't worth it" - at a time when the trust is continuing to struggle with understaffing.

But Cath Byford, deputy CEO at NSFT, said: "We have not made any changes to our overtime arrangements.

"However, we always try and fill any vacant shifts via NHS Professionals in the first instance as this helps us ensure we are providing the best possible value for money on behalf of our service users.

"The card and voluntary collection for Stuart was arranged in response to a direct request from our staff."

Mr Richardson left the role, which came with a salary between £160k and £165k, last month and has been replaced in the interim by Caroline Donovan.

With national insurance and pension contributions, his role cost the trust £315k per year.