Countering Fraud

Whittington Health is committed to reducing fraud to a minimum which is supported in full by the Trust Board and monitored on a regular basis by the Trust’s audit committee.

To achieve this, we work in partnership with BDO, a professional services firm which provides a dedicated NHS accredited counter fraud specialist (CFS) to the Trust. Our CFS is responsible for fraud awareness across the Trust and the investigation of any suspected or reported fraud activity. This work is supported by regular risk assessment and fraud and bribery prevention techniques. The CFS recently undertook a compliance exercise to assure the Trust Board of compliance against national standards for countering fraud and bribery.

Your help in preventing and reporting suspected frauds can play a vital part in tackling NHS fraud.

What is fraud?

Although there is no legal definition of the offence of fraud, it can be understood as acting dishonestly with the intention thereby of obtaining a financial gain from, or causing a financial loss to, another party.
 
The Fraud Act 2006 describes three main ways in which an offence under the Act may be committed: fraud by false representation; fraud by failure to disclose information; and fraud by abuse of position.  Some examples of fraud are listed below.
  • Fraudulent job applications (e.g. falsely stated qualifications or immigration status).
  • Timesheet fraud (e.g. staff and professionals claiming money for shifts they have not worked).
  • False expense claims (e.g. false travel or subsistence claims).
  • Working elsewhere whilst off sick (e.g. usually working for another organisation without informing the Trust).
  • Procurement Fraud (e.g. bid rigging/splitting; false invoices from bogus suppliers for non-existent services; collusion between suppliers; purchase order and contract variation orders).
  • Patient Fraud (e.g. false travel claims; fraudulently claiming exemptions for pharmaceutical charges).
  • Unauthorised use of NHS time, facilities or equipment for financial gain e.g. unauthorised performance of private practice in ‘NHS time’

Counter fraud strategy

In line with NHS Protect’s standard for providers, the key aims of our counter fraud strategy are:

Strategic governance
We support and direct anti-fraud, bribery and corruption work through regular monitoring of counter fraud activity at the audit committee, and by promoting adherence to the Trust’s fraud policy.

Inform and involve
We inform and involve all staff in the promotion, prevention and detection of anti–fraud, bribery and corruption work, ensuring that all are aware of their specific responsibilities in countering fraud, bribery and corruption.

Prevent and deter
Where appropriate, we publicise successful fraud, bribery and corruption cases to deter fraud and ‘fraud-proof’ policies and procedures to reduce the opportunity to commit fraud in high-risk business areas.

Hold to account
The chief finance officer will authorise investigations of alleged fraud against the Trust and where appropriate endorse legal sanctions against staff who have been found to have defrauded the Trust.

How to report fraud

If you suspect fraud or bribery you should:
  • Contact the Trust's local counter fraud specialist and/or the director of finance
  • You can contact the NHS Protect Fraud and Corruption Line the following link https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/crime-prevention/report-nhs-fraud or by phoning 0800 028 4060.
  • Secure records in your possession
  • Record details of relevant events
  • Await further advice


Contact
James Shortall
Counter Fraud Specialist
02380 881 767 (DDI)
 
NHS fraud reporting line
0800 028 4060
Working on it!