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Fraud: In the spotlight

As NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group participates in International Fraud Awareness Week (14-20 November), read about the threat of fraud against the NHS, how fraud is tackled by Local Counter Fraud Specialists and Counter Fraud Champions, and how you can help them.

The NHS came under unprecedented pressure from the COVID-19 pandemic, but fraud was probably not at the top of most NHS people’s minds. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the criminals who target the NHS for financial gain. Fraudsters are always on the lookout for ways to make money from their victims, and their actions are a growing threat to individuals and organisations alike.

Fraud is estimated to cost the NHS more than £1 billion each year – enough to pay for over 40,000 nurses. Many will be shocked to learn that a small minority of people seek to line their own pockets by targeting taxpayer funds that are meant for patient care – particularly at a time when NHS resources are under significant pressure.

Because fraud is a hidden crime, knowing about it is the first step in dealing with it. That’s why this week NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is joining hundreds of organisations around the world in celebrating International Fraud Awareness Week (IFAW), or Fraud Week.

For this year’s Fraud Week we are supporting the NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) campaign highlighting the role of those who specialise in fighting fraud in the NHS, particularly:

Your Local Counter Fraud Specialist and Fraud Champion don’t work in isolation – in fact, to be successful in preventing fraud against the NHS we all need to work together.

Counter fraud measures are at their most effective when people work together to look out for suspicious activity, to try and close off weaknesses that might be exploited by determined criminals, and to report any concerns so that they can be investigated when appropriate.

Your support in tackling fraud is vital, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Local Counter Fraud Specialist or Fraud Champion if you would like to learn more about NHS fraud or how to report a concern.  

To see some examples of how they fight NHS fraud, head to the NHS Counter Fraud Authority website. If you’d like to contact your very own LCFS or Fraud Champion, their details are below:

Rosie Dickinson

Local Counter Fraud Specialist

rosie.dickinson1@nhs.net

07825 228175

Chris Park

Counter Fraud Champion

chris.park2@nhs.net

07702 870 137

Everyone can and should play a part in tackling fraud against the NHS. You can get involved by:

Vale of York CCG is dedicated to protecting public funds from fraudsters. You can find out more about how we do this by reading the Anti-Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Policy on the CCG website. Keep your eyes peeled for the monthly Counter Fraud Newsletter which provides an update on current scams to be aware of at home and at work. You can also access refresher training on key fraud risks (Recruitment Fraud, Payroll Fraud, Creditor Payment Fraud and Cyber-Enabled Fraud) by signing up to the Fraud Prevention Masterclass programme. To access this training, please contact Rosie directly.

Simon Bell, Chief Finance Officer, said: “At Vale of York CCG we know fraud against the NHS is an ever-present threat, and no organisation is immune from it. That’s why we support International Fraud Awareness Week and recognise the vital contribution of our Local Counter Fraud Specialists and Counter Fraud Champions in protecting precious NHS resources for patient care.

“And remember: all our people, our patients and the public can play a part in the fight against fraud – not just this week but all year round.”

For more information about fraud against the NHS, please visit the NHSCFA’s website, follow them on social media (TwitterLinkedinFacebook), or speak to your Local Counter Fraud Specialist who can provide further advice and support.

If you have any suspicions or concerns about fraud in the NHS, please get in touch with your Local Counter Fraud Specialist. All reports are treated in confidence, and you have the option to report anonymously. Alternatively, you can report your concerns to the NHSCFA at cfa.nhs.uk/reportfraud or by calling 0800 028 4060 (available 24 hours).

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