latest health care news


Woman jailed for defrauding the NHS and Grenfell fire victims out of thousands

A former Kensington and Chelsea council employee who stole a total of almost £100,000 from an NHS trust and the Grenfell fire victims fund has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Jenny McDonagh worked for the health service as a financial officer based at Medway Maritime Hospital in Kent between 2015 and 2016, defrauding the Medway NHS Trust out of £35,000.

She also worked in the finance department of Kensington and Chelsea Council, where she stole just over £60,000 – which was intended to go to victims of the Grenfell fire disaster.

McDonagh was sentenced to jail for 18 months for the NHS fraud, and four years for Grenfell with the total value of her fraudulent activity reaching £97,115.

Judge Robyn Johnson blasted McDonagh for putting NHS finances under strain.

He said: "It is a well-known fact that the NHS, funded by the taxpayer, is fully stretched to meet the ever-increasing demands on its resources.

“In my judgement it is an aggravating feature that your dishonesty placed additional strain on the Medway NHS Foundation Trust’s budget.

“The second was to steal funds in a way that any member of the public would find repugnant.

“I have to sentence many cases that have come to be known as Grenfell frauds, your offending is unique in my experience.”

The 39-year-old spent the money on luxury hospitals to Dubai and Los Angeles and went on shopping and gambling sprees.

She pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position of trust at the Isleworth Crown Court on Friday.

“As the finance manager at the Grenfell Team with Royal Borough Council of Kensington and Chelsea, you knew exactly what these funds were for and the importance of them for the intended recipients, namely the victims of the fire.

"Bearing that in mind the scale of your dishonesty in these frauds beggars’ belief.”

Neil Ross, mitigating, said McDonagh apologised to her victims and added: “She found herself so lost that this frivolous spending caused by her serious offending was her escape.

“She’s destroyed her own future, in effect has brought this down and all of this down on herself.”

Enjoying NHE? 
Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit -  Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The NHS needs more senior women in leadership

The gender pay gap in the NHS remains a hotly debated topic, especially as the final report from the Gender Pay Gap in Medicine Review approaches. Andrea Hester, deputy director of employment relati more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

13/06/2019Nurses named as least-appreciated public sector workers

Nurses have been named as the most under-appreciated public sector professi... more >


NHS dreams come true for Teeside cleaner

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teeside cleaner

Over 20 years ago, a Teeside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took ste... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

23/08/2019An ageing population means hand care and injury prevention is more important than ever

Grey Giddins, member of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand, discusses how hand care and injury prevention have become increasingly important given the UK’s agei... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >