HC Deb 23 June 2003 vol 407 c580W
Mr. Burstow

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the scale of travel expense fraud in the NHS; and if he will make a statement. [118642]

Mr. Hutton

No assessment has yet been made of the scale of travel expense fraud in the national health service. However, the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service has an on-going programme of statistically accurate risk measurement exercises, designed to reveal levels of fraud losses. Through repeated exercises, following implementation of fraud prevention regimes, this may demonstrate that a reduction in such losses has taken place.

These risk measurement exercises are conducted to an accuracy of plus or minus one per cent., and are more accurate than any other similar exercises in the United Kingdom.

Phase one of these exercises concentrated on pharmaceutical, dental and optical fraud by patients. Phase two has been focusing on fraud by contractors, (pharmacists, dentists, opticians and general practitioners). Phase three will look at wider NHS fraud. Depending on how phase three work is prioritised, it may include travel expense fraud.