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Security arrangements – are you doing enough to combat fraud and crime?

20 February 2018

Regular reviews of financial security arrangements can prove very beneficial, as one hospice in south east London recently found.

Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice in South East London recently undertook a comprehensive review of their anti-fraud and crime arrangements, following a request to do so from NHS Protect, which was under the mistaken impression that this was a contractual requirement for the hospice under the terms and conditions of their Commissioner Requested Service Status. It is, in fact, only a requirement for providers of a much larger size, and is therefore not a requirement for hospices.

Kate Heaps, CEO at Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice, realised that even though such a review was not compulsory for the hospice, it had nevertheless produced some useful learning for her team.  Here, Kate shares key points, whilst fuller details are available in an accompanying briefing produced by the consultant Kate engaged to undertake the review, Veran Patel of TIAA Ltd., (a professional services company specialising in counter-fraud and security management assistance to the NHS and many other not-for-profit sectors).

Kate told Hospice UK: “We used NHS Standards relating to anti-fraud, crime and security as our benchmark, and reviewed the hospice’s performance against them because these are key areas of governance and quality assurance for us. Veran, our consultant, showed us some research results* showing UK charitable organisations lose up to £1.9 billion a year from procurement, payroll and grant fraud."

"It just makes sense to have effective counter fraud measures in place and to review them often.  If we do not, we run the risk of suppliers over-charging with duplicate invoices, people with false identities or qualifications trying to work for us, and criminal gangs defrauding us through cyber security breaches.”

Kate went on to say: “If we, as organisations, ignore our responsibilities and obligations to create a secure environment for our patients and staff then we jeopardise our reputations, our business and our funding, and risk losing the confidence of our patients.”

*Source: Portsmouth University 2016 Annual Fraud Indicator. 

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