The NHSCFA estimates that the NHS is vulnerable to £26.07m worth of NHS Staff each year. Please see our latest strategic intelligence assessment for more details

NHS staff fraud relates to a member of staff who fraudulently inflates or falsifies their income, expenses or working hours for financial gain.

The main fraud types in this category are:

  • Staff members dishonestly making false claims for expenses and allowances.
  • Staff members falsifying theirs records of overtime / additional payments.
  • Staff members working for another organisation whilst on sick leave or in NHS time.
  • Individuals obtaining or seeking to obtain employment within the NHS by purporting to have qualifications or skills and experience they don’t have or providing false identity documents to obtain employment.

For a full list of fraud types in this category, please check NHS employees in the fraud definitions.

To assist you on how to spot the signs of staff fraud and how to put measures in place to stop this type of fraud, please see below.

Think Prevention

  • Are there clear policies for all staff and managers on completing, submitting and authorising expense and overtime claims?
  • Are you complying with the NHS Employment Check Standards?
  • What procedures are in place to prevent staff working privately on NHS time?

Guidance available

Working elsewhere

This animation introduces Fraudy, a fictional character representing a fraud, and follows it through a case example (based on a real case of NHS payroll fraud). Will Fraudy manage to remain invisible?

Story of a fraud_Video transcript

Working when sick

This animation shows an example of working while off sick. It highlights the importance of reporting fraud and the consequences for those who commit it.

Ghost patients

This animation shows an example of claiming for NHS care that was never delivered through the creation of fake patients. It highlights the importance of reporting fraud and the consequences for those who commit it.

A case of fake ID

This animation shows an example of using fake identification to gain employment in the NHS. It highlights the importance of reporting fraud and the consequences for those who commit it.

Case study 1

A neurology nurse at an NHS Foundation Trust went off sick from August 2014 to May 2016.

During that time, the nurse registered with two recruitment agencies, and worked shifts whilst still being paid from their substantive post.

During the ‘sick leave period', the nurse received an excess of £32,000 from the trust.

In July 2018, the nurse was convicted and sentenced to 16 months' imprisonment on two counts of fraud by false representation.


Case study 2

A nursing sister received a 6 months prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, having been found guilty of fraud by abuse of position.

The nurse admitted claiming more than £1,200 for hours she had not worked by falsifying an NHS time keeping system.

An order to pay £5,8134 towards prosecution costs was made together with £2000 towards the cost of the NHSCFA investigation.

How to report fraud

Report any suspicions of fraud or attempted fraud to the NHS Counter Fraud Authority online at https://cfa.nhs.uk/reportfraud or through the NHS Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line 0800 028 4060 (powered by Crimestoppers). All reports are treated in confidence and you have the option to report anonymously. You can also report to your nominated Local Counter Fraud Specialist if you are an NHS employee or contractor.