Scottish Government
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Fraud team save NHS £43 million

The health service's counter fraud team has saved NHS Scotland £43 million gross since 2000.

Public Health Minister Michael Matheson is due to meet the fraud team on Monday, November 21 to find out more about their work and the nature of convictions including:

  • An anaesthetic assistant jailed for stealing £23,000 worth of medical equipment to sell on eBay
  • A nursing assistant who claimed for shifts not worked, by forging the signatures of colleagues to validate false claims
  • A GP who was using false names to obtain prescriptions for opiate drugs for personal use
  • A part-time administrative worker who claimed almost £40,000 in fraudulent over-time

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said:

"We will not tolerate fraudulent behaviour in our NHS and the Counter Fraud Services team have strict measures in place to make sure that criminals are caught and brought to justice.

"Whether committed by staff, patients, clinicians or contractors, NHS fraud takes money away from where it is most needed.

"Although many of the cases may seem minor, the cost of fraud to our NHS really adds up. Already £43 million gross has been saved which has been used to provide patient care and not line the pocket of fraudsters."

Last year, Counter Fraud Services were presented with The European Healthcare Fraud and Corruption Network Award. This was in recognition of the organisation's innovative use of IT, media and intelligence in carrying out their work.

Since 2000, when it was formed, Counter Fraud Services have saved the NHS £43 million gross (£24 million net).

Case Studies:
Ebay trade:

A surgical theatre technician was the subject of a joint investigation by Strathclyde Police and CFS when it was identified that he had stolen equipment and surgical items from a number of hospitals and was selling them on eBay.

More than 200 items of surgical equipment and supplies were found in his garage -such as skull drill bits and surgical implants - which he was selling on eBay to buyers as far afield as Australia, the Far East, and America.

In 2010, the technician pleaded guilty to stealing £23,000 worth of equipment and surgical items and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

False Claim:

An investigation was undertaken into an administration assistant who was making claims for hours that she had never worked, both in her role as an administration assistant and as a part-time hospital cleaner. False claims amounting to nearly £40,000 were identified.

In 2010, the employee pleaded guilty to a charge of defrauding the health service and was jailed for eight months.

Overseas Visitors:

In 2011, a family of four, residing in the North East of Scotland had accessed non-emergency treatment and services worth £20,000, despite residing in the UK illegally.

This case was referred to the UK Border Agency, who Counter Fraud Services work in partnership with, to facilitate effective prevention, detection and investigation of fraud committed against the health service by persons accessing services to which they are not entitled.

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