The 65-year-old man from Liverpool registered himself and his wife as temporary patients at GP practices throughout England and Wales to obtain prescriptions for dihydrocodeine.
He told practices that he was on holiday and that he had forgotten his wife’s medicines. He gave his temporary address as the local hotel or bed and breakfast.
The NHS Counter Fraud Service in Wales, which investigated the case, said the fraud had cost the NHS £31,520.52. A spokeswoman for the fraud service said the drugs he was perscribed cost approximately £6,000 and the GP consultations cost £23,000.
The fraudster pleaded guilty to 14 offences of fraud by false representation, under section two of the Fraud Act 2006.
At Liverpool Crown Court on 7 August he received an 18-month supervision order, which is subject to three-monthly probation service reports. He is also required to wear an electronic tag and was handed a six-month curfew, operational between 6pm and 6am.
The NHS Counter Fraud Service counter fraud specialist, Cheryl Hill, said: ‘He has travelled all over England and Wales to obtain dihydrocodeine, and deliberately made false representations to a huge number of GP practices.
'NHS Counter Fraud Service Wales is working to stamp out fraud and dishonesty against the NHS in Wales, so that resources are correctly directed towards patient care.’