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Fraud in the NHS

24 October 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 19


Richard Griffith, Senior Lecturer in Health Law at Swansea University, outlines what constitutes fraud and the measures taken by the NHS to counter fraudulent activity

The NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHS CFA) estimates that fraudulent activity costs the NHS some £1.27 billion a year (NHS CFA, 2019). That loss of money affects service provision and deprives patients of much needed funds for care and treatment. The NHS CFA was formed in 2017 to lead the fight against fraud, bribery and corruption in the NHS. All staff, including nurses, have a duty to their employers, the public and service users to protect the assets of the NHS against fraud. To discharge this duty it is essential to support the development of an anti-fraud culture within the NHS that will deter, prevent, and detect fraudulent practices. Therefore, any fraudulent activity must not be ignored and must be reported to allow timely investigation and prevent further losses and asset recovery.

As employees of the NHS nurses have a duty to protect its assets and it is important that they become familiar with what amounts to fraudulent activity and take appropriate action to minimise fraud.

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