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Helping to Combat Fraud in the NHS

Newsdate: 14th September 2010 

While the majority of people who work in and use the NHS are honest, there are a minority who will seek to defraud the NHS of its valuable resources.   The NHS Counter Fraud Service is responsible for tackling all fraud and corruption in the NHS and protecting NHS resources so that they can be used to provide the best possible patient care.

In addition to National Initiatives every health body has a Local Counter Fraud Specialist (LCFS) to help tackle fraud at a local level.  At Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust, the LCFS is Collette McCombe based at Wrightington Hospital. Collette says: “Anyone who has any concerns about fraud in the NHS should either contact myself on 01257 256204 or email on collette.mccombe@anw.nhs.uk or contact the NHS fraud and Corruption Line on 0800 028 4060.  All calls are confidential and you can remain anonymous if required.  Every call is professionally investigated.

Any fraud no matter how small should be reported.  Even posting personal items through the Trust’s postal system at the expense of the Trust is fraud.  Collette continue: “We investigate lots of different types of allegations at all levels. Some recent NHS Fraud examples have been an HR manager who falsified her qualifications and was subsequently suspended, a hospital crèche manager who stole £110k and was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment and a local dentist who defrauded the NHS of £140k and was jailed for 18 months. I would like to reassure everyone that all calls are confidential and anyone suspecting and reporting fraud should remain assured of their anonymity”.

The NHS Counter Fraud Service (NHS CFS) – a service of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) – was established to tackle fraud and corruption throughout the NHS and Department of Health whether it involves professionals, staff, patients or contractors. It aims to create a lasting anti-fraud culture.

Around 300 professionally-trained and accredited Local Counter Fraud Specialists are in place covering every health body in England and Wales.

The value of fraud and unlawful action identified in 2009/10 was £10,951,069.

In 2009-10 the NHS CFS successfully prosecuted 65 criminal cases.

To report any incident of suspected fraud in the NHS, please call the Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line on 0800 028 40 60 or report online at www.reportnhsfraud.nhs.uk

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