Research shows NHS fraud costs £3bn a year

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RESEARCH spearheaded by staff at the University of Portsmouth has revealed fraud in the NHS could cost as much as £3bn every year.

Among the examples cited in a report by think tank 2020health are doctors charging for phantom procedures, patients lying about their economic circumstances, bogus doctors and fake expenses claims.

The research was largely carried out by Dr Mark Button, director of the university’s centre for counter fraud studies, and Graham Brooks, course leader for the counter fraud and corruption MSc, in collaboration with accountancy firm PKF.

Dr Button said: ‘The good news is that these losses can be reduced. Research shows that fraud can be cut by up to 40 per cent within 12 months. Healthcare providers need to be proactive in their approach to tackling fraud – responding and reacting to individual incidents is not enough. Organisations need to take steps such as developing a strong anti-fraud culture, creating a meaningful deterrent effect and revising processes to remove weaknesses.’