NHS Finance

31.03.20

NHSCFA: Never get bored of fraud

Matthew Jordan-Boyd, Director of Finance & Corporate Governance, NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA)

I have written several articles about the work of NHSCFA and that tends to be from my fairly technical angle as a figures person, an accountant who has worked in the NHS for almost 20 years.

When I discuss the need to be more vigilant with fellow finance professionals and leaders in the NHS, and to take more vigorous action to prevent fraud, it can help to speak in their language, which comes naturally to me. This may mean looking at the issue a bit drily, suggesting that they undergo a cost-benefit analysis to recognise the significant impact it would have for their organisations, and recognise that spending adequately on counter-fraud measures is an investment that pays dividends in other areas of business.

Now that is all true. But I am equally aware of the need to be fluent in other languages – moral, ethical or medical, for example. NHSCFA is constantly looking for new ways to drive home the anti-fraud message and avoid “fraud fatigue” – people will stop hearing the counter fraud message otherwise.

Because it is a hidden crime by definition, involving skulduggery (does that word wake you up more than “deception”?), victims tend to have already suffered a financial loss by the time they spot it.

Well into our third year of operation, NHSCFA is currently shaping our 2020-2023 strategy, from which all our business plans must flow.

While I cannot pre-empt the publication of this strategy, which is not far away, a few key issues are already clear.

The fight against health service fraud is not getting any easier.

Fraud is an evolving threat, with criminals constantly monitoring the NHS to exploit any possible weaknesses, updating their methods accordingly. We estimate the NHS loses over a billion pounds a year to fraud, and was never a ‘victimless crime’. It impacts directly on patient care.

The damage done to things like trust and confidence in an NHS service matters too. These things still count, even if they are harder to quantify than pounds and pennies.

Opinions differ about whether NHSCFA should keep shouting about the scale of the problem or speak more about, and be an integral part in the implementation of the solutions. We must do both.

Since our establishment in November 2017, working in partnership with the wider NHS counter fraud community and beyond that, other law enforcement bodies, has been a powerful weapon against the criminals. We need to continue this, and do more.

Wherever possible, we have reduced fraud losses through effective prevention and enforcement action, and strengthened our intelligence gathering to sharpen our knowledge of fraud risks and the best ways to curb fraud.

There are many examples of NHS organisations fully shouldering their responsibilities – doing so with a passion that goes far beyond ticking the boxes they are “marked on” by NHSCFA.
Yet, more needs to be done.

Not all NHS bodies consistently apply a proactive, risk-based approach to counter fraud. When they do, the quality and effectiveness of counter fraud provision will rise further.

Our 2020-2023 work plan will contain pioneering new initiatives and ramp up the shift in culture that is still needed. And in NHSCFA we’ll be leading by example in getting the most out of our people, our greatest asset. Watch this space!

This article originally featured in the March/April 2020 edition of NHE. Subscribe online today by clicking here!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Open opportunity contract issued for Lloyd George records digitisation

04/08/2020Open opportunity contract issued for Lloyd George records digitisation

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) are looking to further their efforts to digitise patient records by launching an open opportunity contrac... more >
East Surrey Hospital completes £8.5m neonatal unit

04/08/2020East Surrey Hospital completes £8.5m neonatal unit

A new state-of-the-art neonatal unit has now been completed and is fully operational at East Surrey Hospital as part of a significant £8.5m... more >
Calls for further investment into community healthcare services

04/08/2020Calls for further investment into community healthcare services

As community healthcare services continue to show their key role supporting hospitals from becoming overwhelmed during the coronavirus pande... more >

editor's comment

26/06/2020Adapting and Innovating

Matt Roberts, National Health Executive Editorial Lead. NHE May/June 2020 Edition We’ve been through so much as a health sector and a society in recent months with coronavirus and nothing can take away from the loss and difficulties that we’ve faced but it vital we also don’t disregard the amazing efforts we’ve witnessed. Staff have gone above and beyond, whole hospitals and trusts have flexed virtually at w... read more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us th... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

Investing in people to reap the full benefits of data in the NHS

03/08/2020Investing in people to reap the full benefits of data in the NHS

Adam Mayer, Senior Manager, Qlik Data has the power to drastically improve patient care delivery within our healthcare services. From managing key operational issues, to identifying patterns to inform population health strategies, it’s clear to see why so many NHS trusts are actively exploring new ways data analytics can help t... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental health and wellbeing. As the best rugby players in the world repr... more >
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. Being on the receiving end of some “thanks” can make communit... 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 professionals as new research reveals how shockingly under-vauled our NHS, edu... more >
Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

10/06/2019Creating the Cardigan integrated care centre

Peter Skitt, county director and commissioner for Ceredigion Hywel Dda University Health Board, looks ahead to the new integrated care centre bei... more >

interviews

Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

24/10/2019Matt Hancock says GP recruitment is on the rise to support ‘bedrock of the NHS’

Today, speaking at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) annual conference, Matt Hancock highlighted what he believes to be the three... more >
NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

17/09/2019NHS dreams come true for Teesside domestic

Over 20 years ago, a Teesside hospital cleaner put down her mop and took steps towards her midwifery dreams. Lisa Payne has been delivering ... more >
How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >

health service focus

View all News