Dishonest staff members were responsible for eight of the ten largest frauds against the Scottish NHS in the last four years. Since the 2008/2009 year, NHS Scotland has been swindled out of about £2.2m and over £750,000 was stolen in one year alone.
Most of the frauds were found to be ‘inside jobs’ and four of the suspected workers were able to gt away with their fraud because investigators could not find enough evidence to convict them. Another con artist was able to take £120,000 just by asking health chiefs in an email to change their bank accounts using the details he provided.
In response to the news, the Scottish Tories have said that it is now time to take tougher action on those who prey against the NHS and that repeated that these people are truly the worst people out there.
The figures about fraud come from the NHS Scotland’s Counter Fraud Services division and show that in 2008/2009 the NHS lost about £379,000 because of fraudulent activities. The following year they lose over £650,000 and then in 2010/2011 lost a whopping £750,000 before the figure dropped again back down to the more comfortable £400,000.
The largest case of fraud involved a NHS employee that was able to get £125,000 after he lie on a job application form in order to get employment. Although the worker was fired, they did not believe at the time that they had enough information in order to pursue criminal charges.
The second largest case involved a £119,000 fraud who simply sent an email asking that a change be made in the bank account payments that were made to a real contractor. He was never identified but alerts were issued to all NHS departments to prevent him from striking again. Smaller cases of fraud included employees of NHS hospitals and clinics selling health care equipment on eBay without permission.