NHS Tayside is spending thousands of pounds a month drafting in porters at Ninewells Hospital amid an ongoing staffing crisis.
The health board confirmed it had spent £37,000 in the first two months of the year to cover overtime and additional part-time hours, amid claims some porters were working 80-hour weeks.
One whistleblower said the hospital was in “complete and utter chaos” with workers from the dental hospital and the mail room being roped in to help front-of-house porters.
“The current situation is a crisis,” the worker said.
“At the moment there are some members of staff working 79 hours-plus a week.
“Staff at the hospital are working against NHS Tayside’s own working regulations to cover the fact they’re down to the bare bones.
“Staff from the dental hospital and mail room and office porters are being used to help front-of-house porters.
“It’s fair enough transferring staff but what knock-on effect is that having on the departments they are leaving to cover the front-of-house duties?
“We should really have 15 staff members covering the front door every day to convey patients. You’d be lucky if we’ve had eight staff recently.
“This has been going on for two months now. I’ve never seen the support services as bad as this, the place is in utter chaos at the moment.”
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “We are currently undergoing a review of portering services, which is being carried out jointly with trade unions.
“As is normal in any service review, interim measures have been put in place during this period, such as part-time additional hours and enhanced use of overtime, to support the continued delivery of services.
“The portering service also implemented additional shifts as part of our annual winter plan to support patient movement during this period of higher demand.
“Approximately £37,000 was spent between January and February to cover overtime costs and part-time additional hours.
“From time to time porters may be asked to work in different locations to cover unexpected staff absence to ensure patient services continue to be delivered as normal.
“We follow working-time regulations and the NHS Tayside rostering policy for non-nursing staff when rostering staff in the portering service.
“Any claims that a staff member is working in excess of the working-time regulations will be investigated.”
Last year porter staff threatened to walk out over staffing issues at Ninewells, with union bosses claiming workers were “on their knees” Four years ago NHS Tayside porters went on strike for three months, following a dispute over pay grades stretching back 10 years.
The industrial action began with a series of one-day strikes in March 2015, before more than 100 staff at Ninewells and Royal Victoria hospitals walked out the following month.
Staff from other parts of the hospitals were drafted in to cover porter duties, while health bosses thrashed out a deal that eventually saw staff return to work at the end of June.