Dentists, GP’s, staff and patients are among those to blame for an annual health service fraud bill of more than £1 billion, officials have warned.
The head of the new NHS Counter Fraud Authority said such actions were “despicable’’ and diverting vital funds from frontline care. The estimates, which are the first to assess the full scale of losses across the NHS, show that the money lost to fraud could have paid for more than 40,000 staff nurses or 5,000 ambulances.
Sue Frith, head of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, has promised a crackdown on fraud by patients and health professionals, in order to protect “the honest majority”.
Fraud by dentists was estimated at £121m, including around £70m for work never carried out. Fraud among GP’s was estimated to cost £81m, £91m was attributed to NHS payroll and identity fraud while £397m a year was falsely claimed by patients for exemptions for dental fees or prescription charges. Other actions by staff, patients and contractors are estimated to take the fraud total to £1.25 billion.
The NHS Counter Fraud Authority has identified a problem and estimated the size of it. How it carries out its crackdown remains unclear.
What is clear, however, is that every dentist, GP and other medical professional responsible for funding arrangements must have in place clear records and robust procedures to both prevent any fraud and prove that none was committed should the authorities come investigating.
Read our article: TACKLING BUSINESS CRIME IN YOUR WORKPLACE