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Millions saved by NHS fraud squad

Scotland’s health service has been saved almost £20 million by an agency specifically set up to tackle fraud in the NHS, it has been revealed.

An estimated £19,700,000 of public money has been saved by the Counter Fraud Service (CFS) since it was launched eight years ago.

The figure relating to the CFS, which investigates cases where funds are being misused, was released as officials attended a conference in Edinburgh.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “Any fraud against the NHS is unacceptable and, whether it’s a patient falsely claiming exemption from charges, healthcare professionals claiming payment for treatment they haven’t carried out or a supplier overcharging for goods, NHS fraud takes money away from where it is needed most.

“While we know only a minority commit fraud against the NHS, the amount recovered through the CFS demonstrates so very clearly the value and importance of the measures taken by the service and NHS Boards.”

The CFS, established in July 2000, works alongside NHS Boards and is charged with both detecting and deterring fraud. It operates a free hotline and website that can be used to report incidents of suspected fraud against the NHS.

Copyright Press Association 2008