NHS Fraud and Hampshire police investigate money theft at Portsmouth NHS contractor
AN investigation by police and the NHS Fraud team has been launched after money was moved from an NHS contractor to an individual’s account.
Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance (PPCA) reported the loss to Hampshire police and the NHS Counter Fraud Authority after the theft was reported on September 28.
A 44-year-old man from Portsmouth attended a police station voluntarily and gave an interview under caution.
Police could not confirm how much money was transferred but the PPCA told The News that the investigation won't affect services for patients.
A statement from the PPCA said: ‘We have reported to the police and the NHS Counter Fraud Authority after discovering money missing from the PPCA account. As an investigation is on-going we're not able to comment further.
‘This investigation won't impact on our ability to deliver services. We remain able to continue with business as usual to ensure that Portsmouth residents receive high quality primary care.’
The alliance is made up of a group of GP practices, which work in Portsmouth, and hold independent NHS contracts for healthcare services in the city.
A police spokesman said: ‘We can confirm we are carrying out a joint investigation with NHS colleagues into a report of theft in Portsmouth.
‘It was reported that funds had been transferred from the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance Limited into an individual’s private account.
‘The company reported the loss to the police.
‘A 44-year-old man from Portsmouth attended a police station voluntarily and was interviewed under caution.’
An insider said: ‘It appears that the professional body whose main purpose it is to oversee the standards, integrity and activities of the primary care services in its jurisdiction has been, at best, negligent and, at worst, irresponsible.
‘The end result is the impact on the lives of the people of Portsmouth they are supposed to care for.’
An email, seen by The News, was sent by Jo York, the director of new models of care at the Portsmouth CCG to all providers locally this week.
It read: ‘We have been notified by the Portsmouth Primary Care Alliance that a financial loss has occurred from the PPCA bank account.
‘Upon discovery, this was immediately reported to the police and the NHS Counter Fraud Authority. As an investigation is ongoing I’m afraid neither the CCG nor the PPCA can provide further details at this time.
‘The indication is that it could take several weeks or months before any charges are made relating to this, whilst evidence is gathered and that any subsequently trial wouldn’t be likely until spring / summer 2021.
The CCG have been working closely with both PPCA and their accountants Morris Crocker to review the financial and operational position following this incident.
‘We are confident that this will not impact on PPCA’s ability to continue to deliver primary care services within the city and we have no significant concerns regarding operational or financial resilience or their ability to respond to increased demand during the winter period as a result of Covid.’