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Hospitals crack down on staff fraud

PUBLISHED: 16:00 27 April 2010 | UPDATED: 10:02 02 July 2010

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Dan Grimmer

Hospitals in Norfolk say they are cracking down on fraud after it emerged that some staff have been claiming expenses to which they are not entitled or working fewer hours than they are paid for.

Dan Grimmer

Hospitals in Norfolk say they are cracking down on fraud after it emerged that some staff have been claiming expenses to which they are not entitled or working fewer hours than they are paid for.

The cases only affect a tiny fraction of the hundreds of staff employed by each hospitals but amount to £13,000 in the last year at NHS Norfolk and its community healthcare provider.

At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital there has been one case of confirmed fraud among staff in each of the last three financial years, all involving staff not working the hours for which they were claiming. The staff were referred for disciplinary action and in at least one case the person involved was dismissed. There is one further investigation still underway. In 2008-9 a patient claimed NHS care despite being an illegal immigrant.

At NHS Norfolk and Norfolk Community Health & Care (NCH&C) there were six cases of suspected fraud in 2009-10, five of which are still being investigated. The sixth was a patient who had wrongly been claiming for free NHS services.

In 2008-9, two members of NHS Norfolk staff were referred to the HR department over their expenses claims, while a patient was caught trying to obtain drugs by deception.

One member of NCH&C staff was given a final written warning after claiming work mileage they had not driven, and another was referred over possible timesheet fraud.

At the James Paget there was one confirmed case of fraud last year, leading to a member of staff resigning after being caught claiming for more hours than they worked. There were no confirmed cases in 2008 and one case in 2007, where a member of staff was caught working while off sick and dismissed.

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