A team of fraud prevention specialists have helped identify a potential financial gap worth an estimated £160 million after carrying out a three-year project to improve NHS procurement processes across England and Wales.
The dedicated team from NHS Counter Fraud Authority’s (NHSCFA) fraud prevention unit carried out the extensive three-year exercise in more than 200 NHS trusts across the country to help identify fraud risks in procurement processes and evaluate spending behaviour.
Working collaboratively with NHS bodies at a local level, the fraud prevention specialists were able to identify vulnerable areas within NHS finance and procurement systems potentially open to the threat of fraud, which could have left the NHS exposed to a financial risk of £156.8 million.
Fraud Prevention Lead, Lorraine Harris, explains how the exercise has helped close the window of opportunity for fraudsters while also improving NHS services for employees and users.
She said: “This has been a helpful insight into how NHS processes and systems work and how best together we can protect them from fraud.
“We have estimated that £156.8 million which previously could have fallen through the procurement gap, is now more closely protected and has significantly improved resilience against fraud within the NHS.
“It is also an excellent example of just how important this collaborative approach is in protecting our NHS and we will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure the public purse is protected and funds are spent as they are intended within patient care.”
Head of Intelligence and Prevention, Richard Hampton, also believes that partnership working is key to understanding the risk of fraud and preventing it.
Richard said: “By shining the spotlight on procurement fraud vulnerabilities and NHS bodies taking proactive action to reduce the risk of fraud, this will help safeguard NHS funds to ensure these resources are rightfully directed to patient care. It would not have been possible for NHSCFA to undertake this work without the participation of NHS bodies and their Local Counter Fraud Specialists (LCFSs), finance, and procurement functions. NHSCFA is grateful to all those organisations and staff for their work in this exercise.”
If you suspect that anyone is committing fraud or another economic crime against the NHS, tell NHSCFA about it – you can visit our main website to report online: www.cfa.nhs.uk or telephone our 24-hour reporting line 0800 028 40 60.
“NHS fraud. Spot it, report it, together we stop it”
For more information contact the NHSCFA press office on 07747 461860 / email@example.com.
Notes to Editors
- The NHS Counter Fraud Authority is a Special Health Authority established under the NHS Act 2006 as amended. It is sponsored by the Department for Health and Social Care, accountable to the department’s Anti-Fraud Unit (AFU).
- The NHSCFA assess that the NHS vulnerability to fraud, bribery and corruption leads to an estimated loss of £1.198 billion (2020-21).
- When NHSCFA uses the term ‘fraud’, we refer to a range of economic crimes, such as fraud, bribery, corruption or any other illegal acts committed by an individual or group of individuals to obtain a financial or professional gain.
- NHSCFA also supports the work of the NHS Counter Fraud Service (Wales).
- NHSCFA works closely with NHS Local Counter Fraud Specialists across the NHS in England to ensure that healthcare crime is tackled, and a culture of fraud prevention and deterrence is in place.
- NHSCFA works collaboratively with NHS Scotland Counter Fraud Services on fraud issues.
- There are some 300 professionally trained and accredited Local Counter Fraud Specialists in place within health bodies across England and Wales.