Fraud and bribery within the NHS are not acceptable. These offences divert valuable resources away from patients and service users, putting them at risk. At HPFT, we take a zero tolerance approach towards fighting fraud.
What is fraud?
Fraud can be defined as dishonest attempts to make a gain, or to expose another to the risk of a loss. This must be by means of making a false representation; failing to disclose information when there is a legal requirement to disclose; or by abusing your position when it requires the safeguarding of another’s financial interests. The maximum penalty that can be imposed for someone who has committed fraud is ten years imprisonment and an unlimited fine. Examples of fraud within the NHS include:
Fraud by false representation
(1) An individual who lies on their job application form, indicating that they have the necessary qualifications required, in order to obtain employment.
(2) A member of staff undertakes secondary employment with another organisation during periods when they are receiving sickness pay from HPFT.
Fraud by failure
A person fails to declare that they have a previous criminal conviction or regulatory sanction during a job application
Fraud by abuse
A member of staff who is responsible for setting up new employees on the payroll systems, sets up ‘fake employees’ using their own bank account details, to receive additional wages.
What is bribery?
Bribery refers to the offering of an advantage to somebody, in the hope that they will act improperly; or rewarding a person for improper performance that has already occurred.
It also refers to requesting to be bribed, in return for acting improperly.
An example may be that a member of staff who is responsible for awarding contracts, approaches a supplier promising them a large contract on the condition that they pay him a sum of money.
The maximum penalty that can be imposed for someone who has committed fraud is ten years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
HPFT have a legal responsibility to prevent bribery from happening within its organisation.
NHS Counter Fraud Authority
The NHS Counter Fraud Authority leads on work to prevent and detect fraud in the NHS. They provide guidance to organisations across the NHS and set standards for counter fraud work. HPFT’s counter fraud service work with the NHS Counter Fraud Authority to improve the Trust’s resilience to fraud and to ensure the proper use of valuable NHS resources to promote a safer, more secure environment in which to deliver and receive care.
Our Local Counter Fraud Specialist
Erin Sims our Local Counter Fraud Specialist (LCFS). Their role is to implement the NHS Counter Fraud strategy within HPFT and to investigate any suspicions of fraud or bribery that may arise.
Reporting your concerns
Suspicions of fraud, corruption or bribery should only be reported to those with the appropriate authority to investigate fraud; suspicions of fraud should not be reported to a friend, colleague or your line manager. All referrals will be treated in confidence.
If you have a concern or suspicion relating to fraud, corruption or bribery taking place at HPFT, or need advice, then you can contact the LCFS:
Tel: 07800 617456
You can also contact:
NHS Fraud and Bribery Reporting Line
Tel: 0800 028 40 60 (all calls are anonymous)
Protect (formerly Public Concern at Work)
Protect offer advice and guidance before reporting a suspicion of fraud, corruption or bribery.
Tel: 020 3117 2520