HEALTH chiefs in South Tyneside are cracking down on NHS fraud and staff security.
South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust is staging a series of events for staff and patients to show how it is tackling problems and warning off potential fraudsters.
Types of fraud and offences range from patients who avoid paying prescription charges by falsely claiming exemptions, to staff gaining employment with false documentation or claiming for shifts they haven’t worked.
The sessions will also cover staff security and safety in the workplace.
Mike Robson, the trust’s executive director for finance, said: “We have a duty to ensure public money is spent to the best effect, and fraud against the NHS is a drain on the valuable assets meant for patient care, and costs the health service hundreds of millions of pounds.
“The aim of these events is to educate anyone who works in or uses the NHS about how damaging fraud can be. In our drive to protect NHS property and assets, we always support the prosecution of offenders.”
He added: “To help us in our efforts to reduce losses to fraud, we need the help and support of every honest person who works in and uses the NHS.”
Counter fraud and security management specialists will be at South Tyneside District Hospital’s Alexander’s Restaurant in Harton Lane, next Friday, from 11.30am to 1.30pm. They will be back at the same venue on Thursday, November 22, at the same times.
On Tuesday, November 27, experts will be visiting Cleadon Park Primary Care Centre in Prince Edward Road, South Shields, from 10.30am to noon.
Trust security manager Glenn Mattison said: “Our staff have the right to work in a safe and secure environment so that they can deliver the highest standards of clinical care to patients.”
Staff and the public can anonymously report any incident of suspected fraud in the NHS by calling the national fraud and corruption line on 0800 028 40 60.