Fraud against the NHS will not be tolerated.
That’s the message coming from fraud-busters working for the Trust that runs Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole hospitals, as well as community services in North Lincolnshire.
Nicki Foley, local counter fraud specialist at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Fraud against the NHS takes public funds away from patient care and into the pockets of fraudsters. We are committed to ensuring this doesn’t happen and ask members of the public and staff to support us by reporting any suspicious activity.”
Fraud against the NHS takes many guises including patients attempting to avoid paying prescription charges by falsely claiming exemptions or claiming for travelling expenses that they are either not entitled to or have not incurred. Staff may attempt to gain employment with false documentation, or claim pay for shifts they did not work or work elsewhere while off sick from the Trust; and contractors may exaggerate or falsify records of NHS work or goods provided.
Nicki added: “Most people who work in and use the NHS are honest, but unfortunately there is a minority that tries to defraud it of its valuable resources.”
All referrals made to the Trust about suspicions of fraud are vigorously investigated and are dealt with in the most appropriate manner, including prosecution through the criminal courts. They also seek to recover monies that have been defrauded and where NHS staff are involved, the Trust takes appropriate disciplinary action and refers them to their professional body for further possible sanctions.
During November Nicki will be speaking to patients and staff at a joint stand being hosted with the Humberside Police Economic Crime Unit on the following dates:
- Friday November 12 from 12pm at the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital restaurant
- Thursday November 18 from 12pm at the Scunthorpe General Hospital restaurant
Nicki will also be at the following locations:
- Monday November 15 from 12pm at Goole and District Hospital restaurant
- Wednesday November 17 between 8am and 9am at Global House in Scunthorpe
Lee Bond, the Trust’s chief financial officer said: “Fraud against the NHS is not a victimless crime as these valuable funds are meant for patient care. We all need to play our part in reducing fraud to ensure our precious NHS funds are spent on you, your family and your friends if you need care and treatment.”
Staff and members of the public are encouraged to play their part in protecting NHS resources and report any suspicions of fraud. To report suspected fraud or corruption at the Trust you can call Nicki on 03033 302994. Or call the NHS fraud and corruption reporting line on 0800 028 40 60 or visit https://cfa.nhs.uk/reportfraud.