New NHSCFA process enables investigators to share information on fraud risks

The National Health Service Counter Fraud Authority’s (NHSCFA) Fraud Prevention Unit has just launched a new system weakness referral process. By ‘system weakness’, the NHSCFA references an inadequate level of controls, or otherwise a lack of controls, which creates an environment that increases the risks and opportunity for fraud to be committed against the NHS.

The new process targets fraud risks, threats and vulnerabilities that Local Counter Fraud Specialists and the NHSCFA’s investigators identify in their system weakness reporting following an incident or investigation.

The NHSCFA uses system weakness referrals reported through its case management system to assess the risks and determine what action, if any, is required. These risks are then addressed by the issuing fraud prevention notices, which include guidance on effective solutions and recommended mitigating actions for NHS organisations and those organisations providing NHS-funded services to take at a local level.

Systems weakness referrals and prevention guidance are also used to update the NHS Fraud Reference Guide, which has been developed to raise awareness of the different types of frauds affecting the NHS and encourage staff and the public alike to remain vigilant and report suspicions of fraud.

The process is described in detail in the NHS counter fraud manual. The NHSCFA will continue to work together with NHS organisations and Local Counter Fraud Specialists to ensure that this new process is a success.

Andrew Masterman, fraud prevention lead at the NHSCFA, said: “The value of this new approach is that it’s a truly collaborative process between the NHSCFA and NHS organisations in the fight against NHS fraud. It uses reported systems weaknesses to identify emerging fraud risks, threats and vulnerabilities and to issue prevention solutions to assist NHS organisations in safeguarding NHS funds from fraud.”

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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