If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Patient fraudulently claimed £2,000 from hospital
A SALISBURY District Hospital patient who fraudulently claimed more than £2,000 in travel costs has been ordered to pay back the money.
Ann Marie Jenkins, 51, of Westfields in Zeals, appeared before Salisbury magistrates last Tuesday and admitted ten charges of fraud by making false representations to the NHS Trust.
The court heard Jenkins attended the hospital on 26 occasions between July 2009 and November 2011 and claimed she had travelled by taxi each time. As a person in receipt of certain state benefits she was able to claim for reimbursement of the fare, which ranged between £70 and £85 per return journey. She claimed £2,030 from the trust during this time.
Staff at the hospital became suspicious when they noted that none of the receipts she supplied showed the name of a taxi firm and the matter was referred to the trust’s counter fraud team.
Inquiries established that firm she said she travelled with did not exist and the going rate for travel from Zeals to Salisbury was between £40 and £45 not £70 and £85 as she had claimed.
She denied any wrongdoing when interviewed under caution twice but pleaded guilty in court. The magistrates gave her an 18-month conditional discharge, ordered her to repay the money to Salisbury District Hospital and pay £85 towards prosecution costs.
Andy Morley, local counter fraud specialist manager, said: “This sends a very clear message out to anyone who thinks they can divert NHS money for their own personal gain, which ordinarily would be used for patient services that they will not get away with it.
“Salisbury Hospital takes its responsibilities to the patients and the tax payer alike very seriously and we will use the full force of the law against those who attempt to steal from our patients.”
Anyone who has information about fraud being committed against the hospital can contact the investigation team in confidence on 01722 425255 or the NHS fraud hotline on 0800 028 4060.