We are a small ambulance company based in Central Scotland who work for various organisations including NHS. We have a very large amount of outstanding invoices, some dating back to 2009, for Edinburgh royal Infirmary. The total amount of these is around £30,000. When our business first began the invoicing system was done sporadically by someone who has now left the business and I now do all the invoicing. These invoices were never chased up at first as the company was getting a large amount of work from them and a large amount of the invoices were paid correctly, my husband, who is the director did not want to annoy anyone by chasing the unpaid ones in case he didn't get any more work from them. However, I began doing the invoicing last May and I have sent in lists of our outstanding invoices on 3 occassions with no response. We also had a meeting with them last July where we were criticised for the way our invoices were marked, but as advised to them at the meeting, this is the information we were asked to provide at the time of booking our services and a large amount of them were paid without any question. I passed a list of outstanding invoices to them at the meeting but we are still outstanding a large amount and continue to have a large amount of our monthly payments outstanding. I called this morning ans spoke to the lady who was at the meeting with us in July and she has advised that they cannot be held responsible for outstanding invoices if we have never chased them up properly. I can advise that we did only provide a list of outstanding invoices but did not send copy invoices or patient details in when chasing as this takes a lot of time. The lady i spoke to was quite abrupt and seems to be very uncertain whether we can get payment for ones as far back as 2009. Can you advise me if there is any way we can legally get this money owed to us or have we left it too late to recover this.I would be grateful for any advice you can give me. It may be better to speak to me on the phone as it is difficult to put into words.RegardsMargaret Boslem
Province/Country relating to question : Scotland
Thanks for the question. There is no doubt that these invoices from 2009 can be persued as the debt is due to your company even if you didn't invoice very well at the time. In fact a debt could be chased as far back as 2005/6. Your option is to raise an action in the Sheriff Court for payment and faced with this prospect the NHS may well pay the unpaid invoices. I suspect they are trying it on at the moment. It may be that if you continue to service them and don't want to fall out with them then you may come to some deal to settle the matter which they also may be prepared to do if they think you are serious about going to court. Often a solicitors letter will do the trick but if they continue to be your customer then you may want to try the soft approach first.
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LLB (Law Degree) and BA(Hons) Business Degree and Diploma in Legal Practice. Partner in own law firm
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