Meeting date: 08.01.21

Meeting time/venue: 10:00-10:30 by Teams

Meeting title: NHSCFA virtual Public Board Meeting

Members:

  • (MS) Martin Spencer (Non-Executive Director) (acting Chair)
  • (JS) Jayne Scott (Non-Executive Director)
  • (SF) Susan Frith (Chief Executive, NHSCFA)
  • (MJB) Matthew Jordan-Boyd (Director of Finance & Corporate Governance, NHSCFA)
  • (TM) Tricia Morrison (Director of Performance & Improvement NHSCFA)

Attendees:

  • (PG) Paul Golightly (Deputy Director, DHSC AFU)
  • (AS) Ann Sturgess (Corporate Governance Manager and Board Secretary, NHSCFA)
  • (KK) Kiranjeet Kaur (Minutes)

Apologies received:

  • (TT)Tom Taylor (Chairperson, NHSCFA)

1 Public Board Meeting

  • 1.1 AS opened the virtual public Board meeting at 10:00am, welcomed all those present, noted the meeting was not being recorded and noted apologies from TT. AS confirmed MS would be the acting Chair for this meeting.
  • 1.2 AS invited the Board members and DHSC Sponsor to introduce themselves to the virtual audience.
  • 1.3 AS invited declarations/conflicts of interest to be declared. None were made. AS formally handed over to MS at 10:05.
  • 1.4 MS provided keynote remarks concerning the 2019-2020 NHSCFA Annual Report & Accounts.
  • 1.5 SF noted her thanks to all NHSCFA people for delivering work in all the areas and highlighted this was the first year NHSCFA has been set specific financial targets in respect of Fraud prevented, detected and recovered.
  • 1.6 MS invited questions from the virtual floor. Questions submitted prior to the meeting were taken initially followed by those asked verbally, facilitated by AS.
  • 1.7 The Board members endorsed the replies provided.
  • 1.8 MS summarised, thanked all for attending and closed the meeting at 10:31.

Details of the questions and responses are below

Question Response
What are the definitions and methods that NHSCFA has established to measure the value prevented fraud? The way in which the value of fraud prevented is determined can vary depending on the specific area that is being considered, however in general terms the starting point is to measure a baseline of the value of the losses that are being lost to fraud. This could involve a precise loss measurement exercise interrogating and challenging the data available, or a more general assessment of the vulnerability that existing systems expose. The NHSCFA then works with partners across the NHS to develop interventions that address these losses and vulnerabilities, this may include reviewing and redesigning whole systems or developing tailored guidance or other disruptive solutions. A re-assessment is then made of the target area that determines the success or otherwise of these interventions and provides a value in the reduction of that loss or vulnerability.
Is it possible to get access to or more information on the matrix of identification, measurement and evaluation of prevented fraud? The NHSCFA do not publish the full detail of the evaluation of losses to fraud in the NHS as doing so may expose systemic weaknesses that could be exploited by criminals; however, our fraud prevention guidance and the NHS Fraud Reference Guide are available on our website. NHSCFA is happy to discuss these areas with fellow enforcement colleagues in the interests of sharing best practice and developing a broader understanding on the issues that we collectively face.
How do NHSCFA intend to Network with the counter fraud champions to alert them to fraud trends and risks as they emerge and what does the NHSCFA expect to achieve from this role? NHSCFA will continue to network with Fraud Champions via a range of communication channels. These roles are already contributing to promote the fight against fraud and raise awareness at a strategic level within their own organisation. Fraud Champions are also supporting Local Counter Fraud Specialists to improve the understanding of the threat posed by fraud, bribery and corruption. Promoting awareness of fraud, bribery and corruption within your organisation.
Given the proposals currently at consultation stage to move to a more system based model in relation to the delivery of care what impact NHSCFA expect so see in the fraud landscape as a result of this? NHSCFA is currently reviewing the proposals and has completed an initial assessment of the potential impacts. Engagement will continue as the consultation completes and implementation commences.
Why is the public meeting to present the 2019-2020 Annual Report & Accounts (ARA) so long after the end of the year the report describes? Due to the Covid pandemic the timetable in respect of completion & external audit of accounts was impacted. Certification and laying of the ARA in Parliament was completed as swiftly as the revised timetable allowed.
As the ARA has been published late does this mean NHSCFA have been slow to respond to the threats & vulnerabilities caused by the Covid-19 pandemic? The NHSCFA reprofiled the delivery of the business plan for 2020-21 and been alert to the potential for fraud in the NHS as a result of the pandemic and throughout the responses to this. Support has been provided to the DHSC and ALB’s, and additional work has been taken on in various areas to support the pandemic response. In addition to this changes our approach to existing workstreams have been made to ensure the impact on resources within Health Bodies is minimised.