Fraudster sold NHS equipment

A WORKER at Yorkhill Children's Hospital in Glasgow stole medical equipment and sold it on eBay to bank himself £75,000.

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The shocking story is one example raised as part of an investigation into fraud, which cost NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde £314,000 last year.

This marks more than a 100% increase in the previous year's figure of £148,000.

Last year, GP Susan McKinnon from Greenock admitted ­using her patients' names to generate more than 100 false prescriptions to obtain drugs for her own use.

The national NHS fraud bill has been ­estimated at £110 million and the amount of money lost across the country has increased by 42%.

It has been revealed that only 5% of people reported for fraud in the last five years have been convicted.

A specialist team, NHS Scotland's Counter Fraud Services (CFS), pursues doctors, dentists, nurses and ­patients suspected of conning the system and stealing from NHS Scotland's £11 billion annual budget.

They are chasing a convicted dentist from Auchinleck, East Ayrshire, for more than £782,000 after he profited from carrying out unnecessary treatments and charged for precious metals for crowns while using cheaper materials.

The fraud is the ­subject of a BBC special investigation Scotland's NHS Thieves which is shown on BBC One Scotland tonight.

CFS head Gordon Young told the show: "Frauds are committed by a small minority. It's a hidden crime, it's a difficult crime to quantify.

"What we're really focusing on is deterrence, we're trying to make every effort to ensure that the money doesn't go out the front door in the first place.

"Rather than trying to recover it after we've lost it, what we're ­focusing on is deterrence, so that people don't actually commit the fraud in the first place. That's a far more cost-effective way, and it protects the health service."

Scotland's NHS Thieves is on BBC One Scotland tonight at 10.35pm.

linzi.watson@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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