The contribution of the public and healthcare workers in the fight against fraud and corruption is commended by Managing Director of NHS Counter Fraud, Dermid McCausland in an online broadcast at www.nhscounterfraud.nhs.uk
He says, "Whether you are an NHS employee, a contractor, a supplier of goods and services or a member of the public, your input is vitally important in our joint fight against fraud and corruption."
McCausland presents the often complex work of NHS Counter Fraud in plain terms. He warns that a minority of people who work in and use the NHS are not honest. The honest majority need to be aware of the types of fraud being committed and should not be afraid to report it – which they can do anonymously on the NHS Fraud Corruption Reporting Line 0800 028 40 60.
He stresses that NHS Counter Fraud's work is not just about detecting fraud. "It is essential that we prevent it from happening in the first place." And viewers are reminded that fraud hits them personally. "It deprives hospitals and patients of valuable equipment, staff and resources and ends up costing the taxpayer more money to fund the NHS."
McCausland's definition of fraud is simple. "Essentially it is dishonest behaviour. In very simple terms, stealing". An NHS insider may claim money for services not provided, claim more money than they are entitled to, or divert funds to themselves in other ways. External organisations may provide false or misleading information such as invoices, to claim money they are not entitled to.
All health workers should know who their Local Counter Fraud Specialist is, and feel confident about approaching NHS Counter Fraud: "Talk to us, report any suspicions you might have, find out more about us – we are always happy to meet with you."
The events and publicity of Fraud Awareness Month, taking place across England and Wales, will drive home the same message.
"General practice is run by public money, government should investigate the accounts as what went wrong with MPs. Can the GPs charge for private referrals? Where does the charged money go to, personal account or practice account?" - Name and address supplied