Updated functional standard aims to protect NHS organisations from fraud

Liaison Financial

Fraud is on everyone’s mind. From scams targeting those in lockdown, to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Taxpayer Protection Taskforce tackling those making fraudulent claims to take advantage of the government’s Covid-19 support schemes for employees and businesses, it is essential that everyone stays on their guard before parting with their cash.

NHS finance teams are no different. The NHS Counter Fraud Authority estimates that the “NHS is vulnerable to £1.21 billion worth of fraud each year”, and has produced an updated government functional standard on counter fraud, consisting of twelve components which apply from 1st April 2021.

Component 10 is particularly pertinent to internal finance teams and looks at the steps which should be considered to undertake the detection of fraud, stating the requirement for staff to “undertake activity to try and detect fraud in high-risk areas where little or nothing is known of fraud, bribery and corruption levels, including loss measurement activity where suitable.”

The component utilises a traffic light scale, not dissimilar to that already in place, to track the data, intelligence and reporting in place to identify potential anomalies that may be indicative of fraud, bribery and corruption, and address resulting actions:

Whilst the new measures may require some adaption within NHS organisations, it is hoped that most of the requirements are already covered within the best practices of financial teams and departments.

All Liaison Financial clients receive the back-up of financial compliance as standard within our services. For example, our VATplus service provides an additional layer of safeguarding to recover legitimate VAT and ensures compliance prior to the annual HMRC deadline, and we also provide training to allow teams to stay up to date with counter fraud measures and the best ways to ensure their implementation.

To find out more or to discuss how we could support your finance team, please get in touch at info@liaisongroup.com 

The full requirements of the government functional standard can be read here: https://cfa.nhs.uk/government-functional-standard/NHS-requirements