NHS Counter Fraud Authority have recently published two pieces of helpful guidance to NHS organisations in order to help prevent fraud arising as a result of i) fraudulent invoicing and ii) Pre-contract procurement fraud.

Millions of invoices are produced by the NHS every year and the guidance sets out the key risk areas in relation to invoice fraud and steps that can be taken to address this problem. For example, “insider invoice fraud” (carried out by an employee, contractor or individual with legitimate access to NHS organisations systems) can be addressed with accounts monitoring processes, including spot checks of supplier records, files and transactions.

The NHSCFA have also published guidance on pre-contract procurement fraud and corruption. The guidance discusses issues that have arisen around false quotations/tenders, manipulation of tender processes and bribery.

The published guidance from NHSCFA is essential reading for NHS managers, as well as anyone involved in procurement or purchasing for NHS organisations.

With mounting financial pressure on the NHS, it is becoming increasingly more important that fraud in these areas is detected, prevented and steps taken to recover any losses. Where losses have occurred as a result of fraud or suspected fraud, civil proceedings can be brought by NHS organisations in parallel with criminal proceedings (or instead of criminal proceedings).