Healthcare workers and the public are "vitally important" in the fight against fraud and corruption, says the chief of the NHS Counter Fraud Service.
All health workers should know who their Local Counter Fraud Specialist is, and feel confident about approaching NHS Counter Fraud, said its managing director Dermid McCausland (pictured).
"Whether you are an NHS employee, a contractor, a supplier of goods and services or a member of the public, your input is vitally important in our joint fight against fraud and corruption," he said.
"Fraud deprives hospitals and patients of valuable equipment, staff and resources and ends up costing the taxpayer more money to fund the NHS.
"Talk to us, report any suspicions you might have, find out more about us – we are always happy to meet with you."
Mr McCausland warns that a minority of people who work in and use the NHS are not honest. He says the honest majority need to be aware of the types of fraud being committed and should not be afraid to report it.
They can do this anonymously by calling the NHS Fraud Corruption Reporting Line on 0800 028 40 60.
Mr McCausland stresses that NHS Counter Fraud's work is not just about detecting fraud. "It is essential that we prevent it from happening in the first place," he said.
Explaining different types of fraud, he said that an NHS insider may: claim money for services not provided; claim more money than they are entitled to; or divert funds to themselves in other ways. External organisations may provide false or misleading information such as invoices, to claim money they are not entitled to.
This month (June 2009) is Fraud Awareness Month, with messages on the importance of fraud prevention being driven home across England and Wales.