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NHS Counter Fraud Squad: Manpower and Finance

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many staff were assigned to the NHS Counter Fraud Squad in each of the last five financial years; (197914)

(2) how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time investigators were employed by the NHS Counter-Fraud Squad in each of the last five years;

(3) what the budget of the NHS Counter-Fraud Squad was in each of the last five years;

(4) what estimate he has made of the cost of fraud to the NHS in each of the last three years.

The number of staff employed by the NHS Counter Fraud Service (CFS) at the end of the last five financial years and the number of those staff who were either full or part-time investigators is shown in the following table.

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Total number of staff in post

243

289

246

197

170

Number of full-time investigators

58

57

60

51

48

Number of part-time investigators

4

4

4

3

3

The NHS CFS budget figures for the last five years is shown in the following table.

£ million

2003-04

8,929

2004-05

13,893

2005-06

11,521

2006-07

11,620

2007-08

10,491

Information on the cost of fraud to the national health service for the last three years is not available in the format requested. The NHS CFS has developed risk measurement exercises to carry out examinations of samples of cases in specific areas of NHS spending and produce statistically robust estimates of fraud, corruption and error. Exercises have been carried out across pharmaceutical, optical and dental primary care cervices. These show an overall reduction in losses to fraud within these services of £94.65 million, or 55.4 per cent. as a result of anti-fraud work.