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Independents' Day

The real fraud

Editor’s blog

Apparently, according to a new NHS England report, GP practices are ‘defrauding’ the NHS of £88m per year, through ‘list inflation, claiming for services not provided, quality payments manipulation, conflicts of interest, self-prescribing’.

They are able to do this because the ‘high trust environments present considerable scope for manipulation and sharp practice’. It adds there are ‘considerable gaps in intelligence with reference to fraud risks in primary care areas’ and says it will prioritise the area.

I’ll give you a moment to get over all that.

I note that they engaged Deloitte consultants to help review ‘fraud’ in general practice. But I am happy to save the NHS some money by giving them some advice for free:

  1. If you are so bothered about the money lost from list inflation and mispayments, sort Capita out. Because not only has their running of support services led to missing payments all over the place, the amount of time practices have taken sorting out the problems caused is worth well over £88m alone.
  2. Provide examples of GPs doing this type of wilful fraud. Then make an example of them if you have to. But don’t tarnish a whole profession that is already under enough pressure based on accusations of fraud that haven’t yet been proven.

Because, to me, scapegoating a profession based on little evidence seems a little fraudulent itself.

Jaimie Kaffash is editor of Pulse. Follow him on Twitter @jkaffash or email him at

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Readers' comments (11)

  • Vinci Ho

    Thanks , Jaimie

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  • Thanks Jaimie. Although sadly many more will read the vindictive bile splattered over the pages of the Daily Heil.

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  • Vinci Ho

    One interesting point I want to raise here is ever since the passing of the Health and Social Care Bill , there was a surge in number of APMS practice contracts won by private companies. In fact , there was no new GMS contract approved , if I am right ??
    Now , we also know how obsessed the current health secretary is for IT-smartphone-AI driven general practice . I am not insinuating anything (in case somebody sues me for defamation , ha ha ha ).
    But folks , think deeper.......

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  • @Vinci Ho
    It would certainly be interesting to know if the private company lists are as clean as anyone elses.

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  • Well said Jaimie.
    I didn't want to give 5 stars - it deserves more!

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  • Azeem Majeed

    Good points Jaimie. The auditors need to supply real examples. List inflation is not 'fraud'. It is an issue with any capitation-based system of funding and is factored into the global sum. There is also the opposite problem of "list deflation". In my area of London, many people are not registered with a local GP but we still have to deal with them when they become ill.

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  • "Deloitte and others pay $235 million settlement over alleged role in Ponzi scheme" - well they certainly have the experience

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  • Fraud in the NHS is infrequent at the clinical level but rampant in the higher echeloens of the health sector as one has a regulator body and the other is adamant they don't want one.I wonder why!

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  • If only NHSE is as sensible as Jamie but nope, the have to create problems to justify their money wasting on management consultants.

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  • It is bizarre to so tarnish an entire profession and then say you need 5000 more of these lazy, fraudulent, overpaid GPs who spend most of their time playing golf !!!

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