Annual reporting trends

Levels of fraud reporting received by the NHSCFA in 2019-20 compared to previous periods.

Although reporting is down compared to last year, it is important to note that the NHSCFA overall has seen steadily increasing levels of reporting since its formation.

The fall in reporting for 2019-20 correlates directly with the emergence of COVID-19 and its effect on the NHS and its services.

Compared to 2018-19, the NHSCFA received 784 less reports.

Information reports received

Total fraud referrals (allegations) received from 2016-17 to 2019-20

2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
4,602 4,799 5,670 4,886

Since March 2020 reporting started to decline, although the decline was slightly off-set by the emergence of referrals relating to COVID-19, it was still lower month on month compared to the same time last year.

Referrals regarding NHS staff and Help with health costs (Patient fraud) saw the largest reduction in reporting, decreasing by 5.3% and 22.0% respectively. This could have been impacted by government COVID-19 prevention strategies such as self isolation, lockdown and the avoidance of hospitals.

Top 4 reported areas

Top four thematic areas by number of referrals received in 2019-20

NHS staff fraud


Reports received

Help with health costs (patient fraud)


Reports received

Procurement & commissioning fraud


Reports received

Fraudulent access from overseas visitors


Reports received

In total 4,886 reports were received. 88.6% of all referrals relate to the top 4 thematic areas, with the remaining 11.4% relating to the other 9 thematic areas.

It is assessed that this is indicative of how transparent and visible suspicious activity is within the areas and not necessarily the scale of possible fraudulent activity.