Former Oxford University Hospitals CIO sentenced for committing NHS fraud

A senior NHS hospital manager who gained his job by falsely stating that he had a degree has been sentenced at Oxford Crown Court to two years’ imprisonment (suspended for two years) for fraud against the NHS.

Peter Knight was a director on the Board of Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, serving as its CIO and digital officer from August 2016 until his resignation in September 2018. Knight has been ordered by the presiding Judge to complete 30 hours of rehabilitation and 200 hours of unpaid work.

The locally-led fraud investigation began after an anonymous tip-off was reported by OUH’s chief finance officer to the Trust’s Local Counter Fraud Specialist.

All of the Trust’s executive and non–executive directors’ files had been updated in November 2017 as part of its duties under the fit and proper persons checks. However, when checked during the investigation, Knight’s HR file did not contain a copy of the degree certificate he had claimed to have.

Sue Frith

Sue Frith

Possessing a relevant degree was not formally an essential requirement for applicants. Those with “at least ten years’ experience in senior management positions within sizeable organisations” could apply without one.

Knight pleaded guilty at his first appearance at Oxford Magistrates Court which took place on 3 December last year.

Sue Frith, CEO of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, stated: “The sentencing of Peter Knight for fraud against the NHS is a reminder that the law and the rules apply to all in the NHS. Anyone who obtains an NHS job through lying is committing fraud. Any suspicion of fraud against the NHS should be reported via our fraud and corruption reporting line, either online or by telephone.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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