A warm welcome to NHS Fraud Champions

Susan Frith, Chief Executive Officer of the NHSCFA, has sent a message to all Fraud Champions nominated by NHS organisations.

Published: 11 November 2020

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The message below was sent by email to all Fraud Champions on 10 November 2020. If you would like to find out more about this role, please visit the Information for Fraud Champions page.

To: Fraud Champions

Cc: Local Counter Fraud Specialists, Directors of Finance/Chief Finance Officers, Audit Committee Chairs (in health bodies with a nominated Fraud Champion)

Dear Colleague

As the Chief Executive Officer of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, I wanted to congratulate you on your nomination as the Fraud Champion for your NHS health body. If you are relatively new to counter fraud, I would also like to welcome you to the NHS counter fraud community.

We would have contacted you sooner but our work to support the Fraud Champion network has been delayed due to our focus on supporting the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We encourage everyone in the NHS to be a fraud fighter, but some people have a specific role to play. Your role as Fraud Champion is to support and promote the fight against fraud at a strategic level within your organisation. This means working with the Local Counter Fraud Specialist(s), the Director of Finance/Chief Finance Officer and the Audit Committee Chair, which are the other key roles in the NHS counter fraud community, as well as with colleagues across the organisation.

Fighting fraud in the NHS

As you know, fraud is a hidden crime, so in order to fight it, we must be vigorous in looking for it. Once we have identified the specific fraud risks facing an organisation, we must decide how to use the counter fraud resources at our disposal most effectively, focusing on those risks. At a national level, the NHSCFA leads the counter fraud effort across the NHS in England. At a local level your organisation’s Local Counter Fraud Specialist (LCFS) will agree a plan and implement a wide range of counter fraud measures, from detection to prevention to investigation.

Yet even the most well-resourced counter fraud team cannot fight fraud effectively on their own. Fighting fraud means empowering everyone in the NHS to do their part by ensuring that they are aware of the threat, know how to prevent fraud within their day to day work, and can easily report any suspicions or concerns they may have about fraud.

There is just so much at stake, with the NHS vulnerable to over £1.2 billion worth of fraud each year. The more effective our fight against NHS fraud, the more precious NHS resources are saved from being diverted to criminals, and the more is left for patient care.

Your role as Fraud Champion

Fraud Champions have an essential part to play in all aspects of the fight against fraud. The main elements of the role are to:

  • Promote awareness of fraud, bribery and corruption within the organisation
  • Understand the threat posed by fraud, bribery and corruption
  • Understand and promote best practice in counter fraud work
  • Support the fight against fraud at a strategic level, and in particular support the work of the LCFS

A detailed description of the Fraud Champion role is available on our website.

As a Fraud Champion, you will be integral to a community of professionals who are responsible, in different ways, for fighting fraud against the NHS. You will also be part of a wider community of counter fraud professionals forming across government and the public sector as part of the Government Counter Fraud Function.

The NHSCFA has been involved in the development of the GCFF from the start and we are supporting implementation of the government’s Counter Fraud Functional Standard across the NHS by the end of this financial year. As you may be aware, Fraud Champions are one of the key counter fraud roles identified in the Standard.

We are keen to support you in your new role and we want to work with your organisation to ensure you have everything you need to perform it effectively. You will receive regular updates from the NHSCFA, and you will have access to a range of learning and other resources to help you support the fight against fraud within your organisation.

This is a new role, so we would welcome your feedback on how the responsibilities of the Fraud Champion are defined, and how both the NHSCFA and your colleagues in the counter fraud community can support you in discharging them effectively. Please send any feedback or suggestions to comms@nhscfa.gov.uk.

If you have any queries about this message, please just reply to this email.

Best regards,
Susan Frith
Chief Executive Officer
NHS Counter Fraud Authority

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