Fraud in the NHS – it affects us all
Fraud is theft involving deception. Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust is committed to the NHS counter fraud strategy, which aims to reduce fraud to an absolute minimum, keep it there permanently, enabling us to target more NHS resources at providing better patient care. During 2013-2014 alone, in excess of £22 million was recovered following investigations by NHS Protect and Local Counter Fraud Specialists across the NHS with criminal, civil or disciplinary sanctions being applied in 512 cases*.
Who could commit fraud against Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust?
There are many different types of fraud. Commonly these can include:
- Staff - falsifying timesheets or expenses claims, lying about qualifications/experience/convictions, working in another job whilst on paid sick leave
- Patients - claiming dental, optical or prescription exemptions they are not entitled to
- Contractors - GPs, pharmacists, dentists or opticians claiming for treatments they haven't provided
- Suppliers - invoicing for goods/services they haven't provided
Recent national cases of fraud against the NHS
- Two years imprisonment: GP Practice Manager issued payments to herself for £70k of NHS funds
- 18 months imprisonment: PCT stop smoking advisor submitted £90k of false claims
- 12 weeks imprisonment: NHS Director lied about professional qualifications to get his job
- Six months suspended sentence: HR Manager lied about criminal convictions to get his job
- Two years conditional discharge: Pay Officer transferred £3k of NHS funds into her own account
- Six months community service: Staff member who worked in another job whilst on paid sick leave
- Struck off by the General Dental Council: Dentist who submitted claims for treatment not provided
The role of the Local Counter Fraud Specialist (LCFS)
The Local Counter Fraud Specialist, Don Pritchett, is responsible for all counter fraud activity at Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
This includes creating an anti-fraud culture amongst staff and the public and deterring those who would wish to defraud the organisation. The role also includes preventing, detecting and investigating fraud. Those found to have committed fraud can expect disciplinary, civil and criminal action to be taken against them. All monies lost to fraud will be recovered.
*Source: NHS Protect Annual Report 2013/14