The KPMG Fraud Barometer data shows fraud against the health sector increasing over 88% in the first half of this year to £7.2m. Most of these frauds were committed by professionals within the industry.
In one case, a dentist charged private patients for work and then made over 6,600 fraudulent claims to the NHS for the same work. In other cases, a drug company boss submitted bogus factoring invoices totalling £3.1m to a bank in a bid to save his crumbling business, a firm of solicitors allegedly committed nearly £1m in medical invoice fraud, and two practice managers stole from their respective GP surgeries leaving the practices in financial distress.
“These frauds in the healthcare sector have been committed by a range of professionals, from frontline medicine to those in the supply chain, who abuse their status and authority to bolster their income out of greed, or to maintain a lifestyle in the face of business problems. Such circumvention of financial controls mirrors the experiences that we often see in commercial businesses. Trusted employees and professionals find that they have built up the authority and know-how to steal funds, and in submitting to the temptation destroy the trust and livelihoods of others.
The cases of fraud that we are seeing recorded in the healthcare sector are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg as a recent NHS report found that in England alone up to £5.7bn a year is potentially being lost to fraud from its £100bn budget. This does not just have consequences for the healthcare sector but for us as patients as frontline services are impacted.”
Hitesh N Patel, UK Forensic Partner at KPMG