NHSCFA Strategy 2023-26 and Business Plan 2023-24 launch

Our new strategy and business plan sets out our key priorities to counter fraud in the NHS over the next three years.

Published: 8 June 2023

Today, the NHSCFA launches a new Strategy 2023-26 and Business Plan 2023-24, which sets out our key priorities for the coming years and how we intend to work collaboratively with the health sector to understand, find, and prevent fraud in the NHS.

Since our last Strategy was launched back in 2020, the changes we have seen in the wider world have been unprecedented. As a result, the NHS is under more pressure than ever to treat patients, save lives, and save money. Healthcare expenditure in 2021 was estimated at £277 billion and remains a target for fraudsters. The NHSCFA has assessed that, in the context of a 2021 to 2022 NHS budget in England of almost £150.614 billion, the NHS is vulnerable to fraud, bribery, and corruption to an estimated £1.198bn. A complex system like the NHS, therefore, needs a shared strategy and a shared understanding of fraud risk. This is precisely why the NHSCFA exists – to fight fraud and save money – and will need to work in partnership with you to understand, find, and prevent fraud in the NHS.

Following an extensive program of collaboration, feedback, and input from a wide range of key partners across the health sector, our focus will be on four key pillars of activity, supported by our people and our resources. These describe our current and future approach to drive vulnerability down and increase the amount of fraud we detect, prevent, and recover. These pillars of activity - Understand, Prevent, Respond, and Assure - will form the basis of everything we do. At the heart of this new approach is our new vision which will build upon our partnership working: Working together to understand, find, and prevent fraud, bribery, and corruption in the NHS.

For more information and resources see our fraud awareness toolkit.

In launching the plan, NHSCFA’s CEO, Alex Rothwell, said:

“I’m delighted to launch our new strategy today which will develop and evolve during its lifetime. I am committed to strengthening our collaboration and engagement with key partners and that is why the NHSCFA has undergone a significant transformation programme to ensure we have the right operating model to strengthen our counter fraud response across the health sector. Data analytics and insight will be at the heart of our approach. The creation of a new Fraud Hub will also herald a new approach to support and enable alignment between the national and local counter fraud response and cuts across all four pillars of the strategy, generating a joined-up approach to tackling fraud bribery and corruption within the NHS”.

Director of Performance and Improvement Tricia Morrison said today:

“During the development of our new strategy we have taken the opportunity to listen, re-measure, analyse and refocus every aspect of our operating model. This includes the systems that drive our performance, planning and measurement processes. Collaboration with our key partners remains our focus - setting out a clear delivery plan driven by our strategic intelligence assessment, targeting improved reporting of outcomes and giving health bodies the information they need to focus on impact, our strategy reflects our ambition to continually develop how we work with our partners in the wider counter fraud community – as it’s only by working together that we can make a difference in the fight against fraud”.

The Chair of NHSCFA’s Board, Tom Taylor adds:

“The primary aim for the NHSCFA is ultimately to provide value for money for the public, and this Strategy clearly and concisely sets out how we intend to achieve this over the next three years. I would like to thank all our colleagues and stakeholders for their considerable efforts in creating this Strategy, and it will form the basis of all our work over the next three years”.

Sean Byrne, Deputy Director, Head of Counter Fraud, Department of Health & Social Care

“The NHSCFA provides an essential function as part of the wider health family in the fight against fraud, ensuring tax-payer funds are used to deliver better patient care and not diverted into the pockets of fraudsters. This new three-year strategy will ensure that the NHSCFA understands and keeps pace with new and emerging threats and has the capability to deal with them”.

Mark Cheeseman OBE - Interim CEO, Public Sector Fraud Authority

“Fraud is an often unseen and underestimated problem, and it takes money away from critical services on which the public rely. I welcome the new strategy from the NHSCFA - which recognises the extent of the challenge faced, and makes a commitment to real, meaningful and measurable action”.

4 Nations Partners across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - Graham Dainty ( Counter Fraud Wales), Donna Scott ( Health & Social Care Northern Ireland), Gordon Young (NHS Scotland), Tricia Morrison, NHS Counter Fraud Authority

“We have a collective determination to work together to find, report and stop NHS fraud across the UK. Understanding how each territory operates we can continue to develop and deliver the most effective counter fraud measure across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, ensuring that NHS funds go to patient care and not into the hands of fraudsters”.

Michael Brodie OBE – CEO, NHS Business Services Authority

“The NHS Business Services Authority has a lot of high-volume transactional work, and we are responsible for over £39bn in NHS spend. We take tackling fraud and loss very seriously and our inhouse fraud team work closely with a range of counter fraud stakeholders including DHSC Anti-Fraud Unit, NHS England Counter Fraud Team and NHSCFA. Working in partnership with the NHSCFA helps us both maximise our potential”.

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