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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 December, 2004, 11:15 GMT
NHS fraud body widens its work
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Fraud has been cut significantly by NHS Counter Fraud Services
The Scottish Executive has announced a fresh crackdown on fraud in the NHS in Scotland.

Ministers have been pleased with the performance of NHS Counter Fraud Services in scrutinising family healthcare and want to extend its work.

They have widened its scope to cover the entire NHS in the hope that it will help save 10m over five years.

NHS Counter Fraud Services was set up in the year 2000 and has already pursued several high profile cases.

More than 8m has been saved in the NHS in Scotland since the CFS was created.

The more money we can save from going into the pockets of fraudsters, the more we will have to spend on legitimate care
Rhona Brankin
Deputy Health Minister
One of its prosecutions included Forfar dentist Ronald Findlay, who was fined 3,000 for fraudulently using base metal in fillings while charging patients for gold.

In the New Year the organisation will focus on patients, in particular those who falsely claim for free prescriptions.

However, the body is keen to stress its role is more about prevention than catching fraudsters red-handed.

Deputy Health Minister Rhona Brankin said the work carried out by the CFS was invaluable.

She said: "Many people think CFS is only a fraud investigation body, but this is just one important area of its work.

'Legitimate care'

"Prevention and deterrence of fraud against the NHS are the main functions of CFS, as it is far less costly to discourage people from fraud than to investigate it after it has taken place.

"The more money we can save from going into the pockets of fraudsters, the more we will have to spend on legitimate care.

"This message cannot be repeated often enough."

The initiative has been broadly backed by unions.

Patricia Purton, director of the Royal College of Midwives Scottish Board, said: "I think it's really important that in Scotland it's up to us not to squander finances to the service because they'll always be pressured."


SEE ALSO:
Dentist fined for patient fraud
14 Oct 04 |  Scotland
Fraud crackdown saves NHS 500m
15 Jun 04 |  Health
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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