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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 June, 2004, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Fraud crackdown saves NHS 500m
Pharmacy
Prescription fraud is a major problem
A clampdown on NHS fraud by patients and health workers has saved almost 500m in the last five years, according to official figures.

The NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service (CFSMS) said that since 1998 their work has helped save the NHS 478m.

This is enough to pay for 60,000 kidney transplant operations or 100,000 hip replacements.

Health Minister Lord Warner said the money would be spent on patient care.

There is no room for complacency.
Jim Gee
Among the scams tackled by the CFSMS prescription fraud by patients falsely claiming free medicines, and NHS staff fraudulently submitting bogus payment forms for their work.

Since 1998 it has been successful in 216 prosecutions and in 275 civil and disciplinary cases - a successful prosecution rate of 97%.

The statistics showed that overall losses from fraud by patients had been cut by 49%.

In some areas, claims by NHS professionals have fallen by as much as 46% after processes were fraud proofed.

Ten-year plan

The CFSMS is halfway through a 10-year plan to cut fraud against the NHS to an absolute minimum.

Since 1998 it has appointed more than 400 counter fraud specialists covering every single NHS trust, primary care trust and other health bodies.

Lord Warner said: "I welcome this saving of nearly half a billion pounds from fraudsters.

"This can now be spent on what it was intended for - patient care.

"The vast majority who work in or use the NHS have united on this very important issue.

"Patients and the public deserve a modern, high-quality NHS, with more doctors and more nurses, and this is what we are striving to help provide."

CFSMS chief executive Jim Gee said: "We have worked with the vast honest majority to make it clear to the minority who perpetrate fraud that their actions are completely unacceptable.

"However, there is no room for complacency and we know that financial demands on the NHS for improved standards of clinical care mean that there can be no let-up in protecting its resources.

"The more we can protect NHS resources, the better the NHS can protect the public's health."

Anyone wanting to report an incident of suspected fraud in the NHS can call the Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line on 08702 400 100.




SEE ALSO:
Prescription fraud cut by 60%
18 Feb 04  |  Health
NHS losing millions to fraud
19 Jun 03  |  Health
NHS fraud levels exposed
12 Jul 01  |  Health


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