Robbing a charity fund and stealing vital equipment: Meet the £5.5million NHS fraudsters who abused positions of trust within the medical profession

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Robbing a charity fund and stealing vital equipment: Meet the £5.5million NHS fraudsters who abused positions of trust within the medical profession

Post by HoratioTarr on Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:42 pm

As the largest publicly funded health service in the world, the NHS employs more than 1.5 million people. The vast majority are dedicated to their jobs, but the enormity of the organisation leaves it vulnerable to exploitation. Indeed, an astonishing £1.25 billion is believed to be stolen from the health service every year — enough to fund 40,000 nurses or buy 5,000 ambulances.

Around a quarter of the stolen money is taken by patients in the form of prescription and entitlement fraud. Bogus contractors tricking the NHS into buying their supplies are also culpable. But there are also staff who pilfer desperately needed funds.

This week, a new BBC series, Fraud Squad NHS, is exposing the fraudsters robbing the health service, and the efforts of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, set up in 2017, to bring them to justice.

From doctors and nurses to dentists and NHS directors, here are some who have brazenly abused their position of trust . . .

Smartly dressed dentist Dr Joyce Trail exuded professionalism while submitting some 7,000 invoices to the NHS for work (totalling almost £1.4 million) she had never carried out. Trail, 56 — who lived in a gated £1.25 million six-bedroom home in Birmingham — spent the money on luxury hotels, designer shoes and private schooling for her two granddaughters.

Daniel Dreghorn, 42, a supervisor at Ayrshire Central Hospital’s decontam
ination unit, where the kit is sterilised. Dreghorn took 134 sets of equipment, worth around £1.3 million, and sold it on the black market in the U.S. and Hong Kong. He was jailed for four years in September 2015.

Mark Evill exploited his position as a manager at Powys Teaching Health Board’s estates department to award contracts worth £707,946.24 to his own construction firm, George Morgan Ltd, which was named after his dog.

Royston Dyke, 49, was the Associate Director of Capital and Development at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where he was responsible for approving contractor invoices.

He was found to have submitted 204 invoices worth around £3,000-5,000 each, mostly for work that had never taken place.

John Coffey refused to help deal with a backlog of X-ray studies at Royal Preston Hospital in Lancashire until he was told that extra money had been made available to pay for overtime.

Then the radiologist — who was already on a salary of up to £102,000 a year — fulfilled the request during his working day, but waited until 5.01pm to submit the X-rays, so he could invoice £4 in overtime for each one.

At some points the fraud cost the NHS an extra £400 a day, notching up a total of £24,000 for Coffey

As chief executive of South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Paula Vasco-Knight had a salary of £165,000 a year, yet commissioned her husband Stephen to produce a newsletter and a 200-page document on ‘leadership’, (costing £20,000) that did not even exist.

Last edited by HoratioTarr on Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

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