Independent charity Crimestoppers has joined forces with NHS Protect, the national agency leading the NHS fight against crime, to launch a dedicated 24 hour reporting line to tackle fraud, bribery and corruption against the health service in England and Wales.
Anyone who wishes to give information can call the NHS Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line, powered by Crimestoppers, on 0800 028 40 60 (same number as it was previously) anonymously at any time.
With fraud considered to be under-reported across the health service, the line allows those working within the NHS and wider health service (as well as the general public) to report known or suspected economic crimes that deplete the public purse and ultimately reduce the quality of care for patients.
As of 31 March 2016, NHS Protect was investigating allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption worth in excess of £25 million.
The value of fraud, bribery and corruption identified by NHS Protect and Local Counter Fraud Specialists (LCFSs) amounted to £6.5 million in 2015/16. Over £2 million was restrained (frozen) and over £2.4 million confiscated using the Proceeds of Crime Act, as at 31 March 2016.
As well as the anonymous phone number, information can be given in confidence online if preferred, through NHS Protect’s online form.
Roger Critchell, Director of Operations for Crimestoppers, said: “We are incredibly fortunate to have one of the best health services in the world, so it is staggering that there are people abusing this by defrauding it of money that could be used for care and treatment.
“We’re delighted to be working with NHS Protect to provide a user-friendly and robust system for people to report financial crime against the health service. With your help, we can defend the NHS against fraud, bribery and corruption.”
Chris Cockell, Intelligence and Research Manager at NHS Protect, said: “Over the years, NHS Protect’s existing facilities for receiving this vital information had served well, resulting in numerous successful prosecutions of fraud, bribery and corruption.
“However, we are pleased to enlist the services of Crimestoppers, which is such a well-known, recognised and trusted brand in the field to take over the running of the 0800 028 40 60 number.
“We were attracted by the fact they have delivered such services to a wide range of clients and have the expertise and experience to extract the most from telephone reporting.”
Anyone with information of fraudulent activity against the NHS can contact the Crimestoppers powered number anonymously on 0800 028 40 60, or fill out NHS Protect’s online form.
For further information on arrangements to tackle fraud, bribery and corruption in south Sefton please visit: www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/get-informed/anti-fraud-bribery-and-corruption.