NHSScotland belongs to all of us. We all pay into it and we expect it to be there to care for us when we need it. So those who commit fraud against the NHS are stealing from all of us, and we all have a part to play in stamping it out.
NSS Counter Fraud Services (CFS) is the specialist arm of NHSScotland set up to seek out and eliminate fraud and other financial crime at all levels. And we’re having an impact. In the financial year 2015-16 we cut the impact of financial crime in NHSScotland by an estimated £3.3m. That’s enough to pay for around 650 hip replacement ops.
We do this through a range of initiatives, all aimed at raising awareness of the impact of health service fraud and by promoting measures to help prevent it. These include the delivery of workshops and presentations, and eLearning packages for health boards and external stakeholders.
For example, in 2015-16 we ran 73 training workshops and presentations, put together eight road shows and hosted a successful Scottish Counter Fraud conference.
Saints and Scroungers
In September 2015, NSS Counter Fraud were featured on BBC TV in the series Saints and Scroungers. These programmes highlighted both proactive and reactive investigations, which we had undertaken. These generated lots of interest and attracted over a million viewers, peaking at a 25% audience share. They also generated a lot of chat on social media platforms - it was a great way to demonstrate the work we do.
Fraud Prevention Initiative
Also, in the autumn of last year we launched a pilot initiative with dental practices in the NHS Forth Valley area. This focused on preventing fraudulent and erroneous patient claims for exemption from dental treatment costs under the NHS Tax Credit category. This area was highlighted as an area of particular concern through intelligence gained from patient exemption checking data that identified that over £3.25m was lost nationally to fraud or error in 2014.
Over 10,000 NHSScotland staff have undertaken Counter Fraud Services eLearning programme in 2015-16. The programme aims to:
- raise awareness of fraud and its impact on the health service in Scotland
- demonstrate the role individuals can play in protecting public resources.
This is just a glimpse of our work. If you’d like to learn moreVisit the Counter Fraud Services website (external link)