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“2020health is an important and thoughtful contributor to the health debate”

Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Chairman, Health Select Committee

 
 

2020health Report Stealing the NHS?

A new 2020health reports that seeks to answer whether the NHS is being careless with Taxpayer's money. At least £3.3 billion of taxpayer’s money is not being spent on genuine healthcare needs and many NHS hospitals are refusing to publish what they are doing to combat fraud.

Conclusions and recommendations

1) Tax payer’s money is being wasted and the NHS is probably still losing billions in fraud. Some finance staff and accountants within NHS bodies do not know what is going on in their Trust and they are not being held liable.

2) The secrecy is quite astonishing considering public money is being spent. NHS Trusts are hiding behind legislation that was designed to ensure the public could have reassurance about financial transparency. They have a moral obligation to show that they are handling our money responsibly.

3) It is still unclear whose responsibility counter fraud will be when PCTs go. Are GP Commissioner prepared to take over hitherto PCT responsibilities, and if all NHS Trusts are to become Foundation Trusts, as things are now will that mean that scrutiny is even harder?

We therefore recommend:

1. End to secrecy - Clarification of NHS Trust responsibility around reporting of counter fraud activity and spending to the public to enable transparency and accountability.
2. Outcomes not process - Change in the reporting requirements to provide clear and accurate outcomes information about how much losses are, to what extent they have been reduced, to what extent fraud losses have been recovered, and what preventative measures are in place.
3. Consequences for concealment - Fine NHS Trusts who do not publish their counter fraud outcomes.

Impact:

• This document led to a face-to-face with the Prime Ministers special adviser.
• Foundation of our campaign to insist that all NHS Trusts and CCGS report their losses
• The basis of our work with Panorama on a forthcoming documentary (for end 2013)
• Jim Gee, Director of Counter Fraud Services at PKF (UK) LLP who ran the NHS Counter Fraud service from 1998-2006 said: “This is an important and valuable study which shows both the progress which has been made and what still needs to be done – especially at a local level. Every NHS organisation should have a programme in place to tackle fraud – if they don’t know the nature and scale of their fraud problem, then how can they apply the right solution?”

2020health press release Stealing the NHS?

2020health launches new report on NHS Fraud. read on Stealing the NHS?