Questions and Answers about Project Athena

Published: 20 February 2024

Version: 1.0

Q: What is Project Athena?

A: Project Athena is a pilot programme led by the NHSCFA to take data analysis to a new level for greater, faster and wider detection of fraud and the prevention of fraud.

Q: What are the aims of Project Athena?

A: To use an innovative approach to analysing data aiming at identifying patterns in data showing fraud. It aims to combine domain (subject) specialist, analytical expertise, and technology to increase fraud detection that will improve the opportunities for fraud prevention and enforcement.

Q: What are the benefits of Project Athena?

A: By anticipating and identifying new and emerging patterns in data, the NHSCFA can intervene quickly to reduce the impact and loss from fraud. This will lead to improved operational outcomes and drive insight and policy change as well as strengthen controls and prioritisation. Access to the analysis of data will ultimately accelerate, increase and improve our business strategy to counter fraud and result in more fraud interventions, these include:

  • Data - greater and faster access with partnership working and stakeholder relationships
  • Machine learning - powerful and modern methods with lead to identifying patterns in data indicative of fraud
  • Fewer false positives - as we move forward modelling will improve leading to few 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 integration

Q: What are the outcomes of Project Athena?

A: Outcomes include:

  • The timely monitoring of data will continually produce intervention opportunities leading to a strengthened prevention agenda and reduction in potential fraud losses
  • Machine learning will improve our opportunities for finding fraud
  • We will embed pipelines developed for key NHS data sets

Q: How will the data for Project Athena be looked after?

A: All data for Project Athena will be managed by the NHSCFA using approved and recognised ethical and professional standards and practices.

If you would like to submit a question, please e-mail: CorporateCommunications@nhscfa.gov.uk

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