The National Health Service Counter Fraud Authority’s (NHSCFA) counter fraud standards for 2020-2021 were issued on 14 January. The 2020 counter fraud standards differ from last year’s only in very minor ways. The changes made for this year consist of altering the dates to reflect that it’s now 2020, re-setting the version control to v1.0 for each standard document and updating the change log to reflect the fact that no material changes have been made to the standards this year.
It’s the responsibility of the organisation as a whole to ensure that it meets the required standards. A range of departments are likely to be involved in helping the organisation to meet them, including finance, internal and external audit, risk, communications and Human Resources. However, there are a number of key roles involved in ensuring robust counter fraud arrangements are in place and taking forward counter fraud work, including local counter fraud specialists, directors of finance and Audit Committee chairs.
For providers, the requirement to adhere to the counter fraud standards is founded on the NHS Standard Contract. This should be used by clinical commissioning groups and NHS England when commissioning NHS-funded services including acute, ambulance, care home, community-based, high secure and mental health and learning disability services. The counter fraud requirements form part of Service Condition 24 of the contract.
Commissioners should review providers’ arrangements to make sure they meet the requirements under the contract. Commissioners also need to ensure that they have appropriate counter fraud arrangements in place themselves.