Anti-fraud FAQs

Reporting Fraud and Corruption FAQs

What is Fraud?

For an offence to have occurred, the person must have acted dishonestly with the intent of making a gain for themselves or for anyone else, or inflicting a loss (or risk of loss) on another.

In January 2007 The Fraud Act came into force and introduced three main fraud offences:

  • False representation
  • Failure to disclose information
  • Fraud by abuse of position

Offences proven under the Fraud Act carry strong sentences on Summary conviction (Magistrates Court) imprisonment up to a maximum of 12 months on an indictment (Crown Court) imprisonment up to a maximum of 10 years. Fines can also be imposed by either court.

What is Bribery?

The Bribery Act reforms the criminal law of bribery, making it easier to tackle this offence proactively in the public and private sectors.

In July 2011 The Bribery Act came into force and introduced three main bribery offences:

  • Offering, promising or giving a bribe to another person
  • Requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a bribe
  • Failure of a commercial organisation to prevent bribery (Corporate Offence)

Corporate Offence is a strict liability offence and an organisation and its senior management can be found guilty of attempted or actual bribery on the organisation’s behalf, if the organisation fails to have in place proper procedures to prevent bribery taking place.

Like the Fraud Act the Bribery Act also imposes strong sentences on conviction. The first case has been heard by the Court, and for receiving a £500 bribe the defendant was sentenced to 6 years in prison.

When investigating offences against the NHS the Anti-Fraud Team will also rely on other legislation including, the Theft Act 1968, Computer Misuse Act 1990 Criminal Procedure and Investigation Act 1996 and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984, when establishing if an offence has occurred.

What should you do if you suspect an offence is taking place?

If you suspect a fraud you must:

  • Make a note of your concerns
  • Note all relevant details, what was said, the date and time and names of all parties involved
  • Keep a record or copy any documentation that arouses your suspicion
  • Report your concerns to the Local Anti-Fraud Specialist (AFS) immediately as any delay might cause the organisation to suffer further financial loss

Do not:

  • Investigate it yourself as all evidence must be gathered in a legally admissible manner
  • Confront the individual
  • Convey your suspicions to anyone other than those with proper authority to investigate
  • Do nothing!

What are the types of fraud?

Managers and Staff:

  • Alteration of timesheets or travel expenses
  • Abuse of Trust equipment
  • Working elsewhere whilst sick
  • Misappropriation of funds
  • Making false statements on application forms and references


  • Alterations of records
  • False claims for work
  • Creating ghost patients
  • Private work on NHS time
  • Working elsewhere whilst sick

Patient Fraud:

  • Prescription fraud (altering of prescriptions, wrongfully claiming exemption from fees)
  • Multi registration patients
  • False travel expense claims
  • Overseas visitors claiming to be eligible for NHS services

Contractors and Suppliers:

  • Submission of bogus invoices
  • Price fixing

What is the NHS Counter Fraud Authority?

The NHS Counter Fraud Authority is a special health authority charged with identifying, investigating and preventing fraud and other economic crime cross the NHS in England. The NHS Counter Fraud Authority is focused entirely on counter fraud work, and is independent from other NHS bodies and directly accountable to the Department of Health. The purpose of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority is to lead the NHS in protecting its resources by using intelligence to understand the nature of fraud risks, investigate serious and complex fraud, reduce its impact and drive improvements. You can find out more about the NHS Counter Fraud Authority by visiting their website.