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The real fraud

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