Play your part in fighting fraud

International Fraud Awareness Week - 17-23 November 2019

As the Trust takes part in International Fraud Awareness Week (17th-23rd November), this article explains how NHS fraud affects us all, and how we can all do something about it.

Fraud is the crime you are most likely to experience during your lifetime, yet there is a good chance you will never actually see a fraud happening. Fraud is a hidden crime, as fraudsters use deception and target weaknesses in people and systems to make a financial gain. Fraudsters are also increasingly sophisticated in their use of technology, as you may have noticed if you ever received a very ‘believable’ email or letter asking you to send money or provide your financial details.

No individual or organisation is immune from the threat of fraud, and the NHS is no exception. The NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) estimates that fraud costs the NHS £1.27 billion each year – that is equivalent to the cost of 40,000 nurses.

Because fraud is a hidden crime, being aware of the threat is a vital first step in confronting it. That is why EEAST is taking part in International Fraud Awareness Week (IFAW) this week. IFAW is a global initiative to raise awareness of fraud and highlight the importance of fraud prevention.

The Trust is joining the NHSCFA in marking IFAW through a campaign, which calls on every one of us to ‘Be a fraud fighter’. Fraud against the NHS affects everyone, but everyone can play an important part in fighting it, whether it be by being vigilant, knowing how to prevent fraud, or reporting any suspicions or concerns. Please visit cfa.nhs.uk for more details.

For more information and advice about NHS fraud, speak to your Local Counter Fraud Specialist, Lisa George on 07825 827024 or email her at lisa.george4@nhs.uk

Gareth Robins, Fraud Senior Manager, said:

“We take the threat of fraud very seriously, that means we need to make sure all our people are aware of it. Most of us would never dream of committing fraud, and the same goes for our patients and the people we work with every day. However, the small minority who commit fraud against the NHS can have a serious impact on us all, and everyone has a role to play in fighting fraud.


International Fraud Awareness Week is a great opportunity to remind us of that, but remember: your Local Counter Fraud Specialist is available all year round to provide advice and support.”

If you have any suspicions or concerns about fraud in the NHS, report them to the NHSCFA at cfa.nhs.uk/reportfraud or by calling 0800 028 4060 (available 24 hours). All reports are treated in confidence, and you have the option to report anonymously.

Please spread the word among your colleagues and tell your family and friends – we all bear the cost of NHS fraud, but all of us have a part to play in fighting it.

Published 18th November 2019

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