Counter fraud guidance issued to GPs

The NHS Counter Fraud Service (CFS) has produced guidance for GPs on how to prevent patient registration fraud.

NHS CFS said the aim of the guidance is to raise awareness of patient registration form fraud and to ensure action is taken reduce the number of incidents.

‘Guidance to GP practices on GP patient registration fraud’ outlines indicators that a patient may not be genuine.

It also lists documents that can used to provide identification, as well as those that are readily obtained and should be treated with caution if presented in isolation.

The NHS CFS said the guidance was produced following a number of cases involving patients fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs. It said one patient used over 40 identities to obtain drugs from Dorset GPs.

The guidance will be distributed to practices by Local Counter Fraud Specialists.

It follows counter fraud action taken by the Scottish government earlier this year. Since 14 June, patients registering at practices in Scotland are required to sign a ‘counter fraud declaration’ that permits their details to be shared with around eight agencies, including the UK Border Agency, the Department for Work and Pensions and HM Revenue and Customs.

The move was criticised by GPs, who warned that it could put people off registering at practices.

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