A MANAGER at an NHS trust providing care in Portsmouth has been jailed for swindling money from the health service.
Terence High appeared at Southampton Crown Court after admitting fraud by abuse of position and breaching a suspended sentence.
The 51-year-old was employed as a procurement manager at Solent NHS Trust at the time of the offences and part of his job was to buy items on behalf of the organisation which provides mental health and community care to people in Portsmouth and Southampton.
High, of Hillbury Road, Fordingbridge, was sentenced to 12 months in prison after spending £1,631.12 on a credit card belonging to the health trust on his own shopping, including groceries, petrol and cigarettes, between February and December 2016.
Andrew Strevens, Solent’s director of finance, performance and estates, said: ‘We have been entrusted with public money to provide our communities with health services that are timely, appropriate and free at point of delivery.
‘The resources at our disposal are limited and so every penny we have really does need to stretch far.
‘It is, therefore, very disappointing that, knowing all of this, our former colleague chose to utilise his role and privileged access to steal from the public purse.
‘Our processes allowed for this deception to be noticed early on but we have since worked with experts to further tighten controls.
‘I am informed that lessons learned from this unfortunate incident have been shared with other NHS organisations too.
‘Hopefully, this conviction serves as a warning that misuse of a position of trust isn’t a victimless crime and there is, ultimately, a price to pay.
‘I am grateful to our staff for whistleblowing and am also thankful to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fraud and Security Management Service, who have helped investigate and secure a conviction in this case.’