Counter fraud

The Counter Fraud Team are based at Regent House, Torquay and provide a Counter Fraud Service for:

  • NHS NEW Devon CCG
  • Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Contact us

Kevin Forrest
Local Counter Fraud Specialist
Tel: 01803 656 438
Mobile: 07585 405 047
E-mail: kevin.forrest@nhs.net

Our aim

An estimated £5 billion pounds is lost to fraud each year in the NHS – almost 5% of the budget.

Our aim is to reduce the amount of public money lost to Fraud.

Reducing that sum would enable the NHS to employ and train more staff, and procure more equipment.  

For example, £5 billion equates to 228,216 band 5 nurses.

Areas of work

1. Strategic governance

The Counter Fraud Team will provide executive support to senior members of the CCG to ensure that all governance requirements are met.

2. Inform and involve

The Counter Fraud Team aims to embed a Counter Fraud culture within the CCG.

Where staff are aware of the impacts of Fraud in the NHS, and where staff feel comfortable and confident in reporting possible instances of Fraud.

This will be achieved in part by providing Fraud Awareness Presentations, distributing Counter Fraud posters and newsletters around the CCG and issuing alerts to relevant members of staff on national issues.

3. Prevent and deter

We aim to deter people from committing fraud, and to prevent fraud from occurring.

The Counter Fraud Team perform Local Proactive Exercises, review and update Counter Fraud and Anti-Bribery Policies and provide advice to staff who raise concerns.

4. Hold to account

The Counter Fraud Team undertakes investigations, and ensure that where fraud is proven, appropriate sanctions are taken.

Sanctions can include disciplinary, civil and criminal proceedings. Assistance will also be given to HR in the event of any internal investigations.

Some examples of NHS frauds include:

  • Claiming for treatment or services not provided (e.g. Medicines Use Reviews at pharmacies, dental treatment or optical services not carried out)
  • Working elsewhere while on sick leave
  • Submitting fraudulent claims for grants and payments (e.g. false or inflated travel or subsistence claims, and fraudulent applications for funding and training) by contractors and suppliers
  • Contractor and supplier fraud includes charging for items of a higher quality or greater quantity than those supplied, and using inappropriate tendering processes.
  • Patient fraud includes claiming for free or reduced cost treatment and services when not entitled, and using aliases to get prescription drugs

Please do not hesitate to contact our Local Counter Fraud Specialist, Kevin Forrest on 01803 656 438 or 07585 405 047 for help or if you would like us to do a short fraud awareness presentation.

The Fraud Act 2006

The Fraud Act of 2006 came into effect on 15 January 2007 and repealed several Theft Act (1968 and 1978) offences. 

This page will give you a brief overview of the main offences under the Fraud Act 2006, and will link these offences to examples of NHS Fraud.

S2. Fraud by False Representation

This offence is committed when a person dishonestly makes a false representation, and intends by making the representation to either make a gain for himself or another, or to cause loss (or a risk of loss) to another.

Examples of this offence in the NHS include:

  • An individual lying or providing misleading information on a CV or job application form in order to gain employment. 'Misleading information' could be as simple as false qualifications, or falsely claiming the right to work in the UK. 

S3. Fraud by Failing to Disclose Information

This offence is committed when a person dishonestly fails to disclose information which he is under a legal duty to disclose, and intends, by doing this, to make a gain for himself or another, or to cause loss (or risk of loss) to another.

Examples of this offence include:

  • Failing to mention any previous criminal convictions, cautions or reprimands, in order to gain employment.

S4. Fraud by Abuse of Position

This offence is committed if an individual who occupies a position of trust dishonestly abuses their position, and intends by this to make a gain for himself or to cause a loss (or risk of loss) to another.

Examples of this offence include:

  • An employee who is in charge of ordering ink cartridges for a department is buying more than required, and selling them on the internet for personal gain.

The maximum sentence for these offences is 10 years imprisonment.

The Bribery Act

The Bribery Act 2010 contains four main offences. This page provides information on those offences and explains how bribery may occur in the NHS.

 What is bribery?

Bribery is offering someone an incentive to do something which they wouldn't normally do.

Why do we need to know about it?

The Bribery Act introduces a corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery, which means that relevant commercial organisations will be exposed to criminal liability, and NHS organisations are included within this. If organisations don't have measures in place to prevent bribery, they can be liable to pay unlimited fines.  

What are the Offences?

  • S1. Offering, promising or giving a bribe
    For example, offering to bribe an interviewer with tickets to a rugby match in order to be promoted to a new position.
  • S2. Requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a bribe
    For example, accepting a bribe in exchange for documents on preferred bidders on a new contract.
  • S6. Bribing a Foreign Public Official
    This is unlikely within the NHS, but has to involve someone who holds a legislative, administrative or judicial position in another Country.

These three offences carry a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

  • S7. The Corporate Offence of Failing to Prevent Bribery
    Should adequate measures to prevent bribery not be in place, the organisation could be liable to pay an unlimited fine.

Bribery and Corruption - The Bribery Act

An infographic film bringing to life the key elements of the Act

Contact us

All employees have an important role in helping to reduce the amount of NHS money lost to fraud, bribery and corruption.

If you have any concerns, or would like any more information on Fraud, Bribery or Corruption, please contact your Counter Fraud Team using the contact details below. 

We also encourage managers to arrange a departmental Fraud Awareness Presentations with their Local Counter Fraud Specialist, to ensure that all staff are aware of the detrimental impact of Fraud in the NHS.

All information provided by staff will be held in a confidential and professional manner, and those who report fraud to the LCFS are protected as Whistleblowers under the CCG’s Whistleblowing Policy.

Fraud can be reported in a number of ways, either by calling or emailing your Counter Fraud team.

Alternatively, you can report fraud anonymously by contacting NHS Reporting Line on: 0800 028 40 60 or www.reportnhsfraud.nhs.uk

Our Address:

Audit South West 

Counter Fraud 

Ground Floor Regents House

Regents close

Torquay 

TQ2 7AN

Kevin Forrest

Local counter fraud specialist (Devon)

Tel: 01803 656438
Mobile: 07585 405047
E-mail: kevin.forrest@nhs.net

Alice Lee

Counter fraud assistant (Devon)

Tel: 01803 656440
E-mail: alicelee1@nhs.net

John Micklewright

Counter fraud manager (regional)

Mobile: 07775 417508
E-mail: jmicklewright@nhs.net

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