At a glance

A quick guide showing benefits and outcomes of Project Athena

Published: 20 February 2024

Version: 1.0

Project Athena - Key messages

  • Project Athena is creating new, innovative ways of using NHS data by looking for patterns and trends to detect potential fraud and prevent losses to the NHS
  • This is a pilot project led by the NHS Counter Fraud Authority to take data analysis to a new level for greater, faster and wider detection of fraud
  • Project Athena’s innovative approach to analysing and applying data aims to increase detection of fraud and prevention of fraud which is getting more complex and sophisticated
  • Data from just one investigation can positively impact across the whole fraud community as this new approach shares data findings and predicts further potential fraud before it happens
  • All data for Project Athena will be managed by the NHSCFA, in accordance with relevant legislation and using approved and recognised ethical and professional standards and practices by experienced qualified data professionals


  • Data - greater and faster access for partnership working and stakeholder relationships
  • Machine learning - powerful and modern methods to identify patterns in data indicting fraud
  • Fewer false positives - as we move forward modelling will improve leading to fewer false positives
  • Reduced time for intervention by using data and analysis
  • More fraud identified
  • Visibility of new patterns
  • Ethical approach to fraud detection with human interaction leading on the response and confirmation

Result = more fraud interventions


  • Timely monitoring of data will produce intervention opportunities leading to a strengthened prevention agenda and reduction in potential fraud losses
  • Machine learning will improve our opportunities for fraud detection
  • We will embed pipelines developed for key NHS data sets
  • The NHSCFA will seek to utilise opportunities that Project Athena enables to secure access to other public sector data and analytical platforms for counter fraud purposes

Help us improve

Tell us what's happened so we can fix the problem. Please do not provide any personal, identifiable or sensitive information.


Thanks for the feedback!