- A patient who tried to claim more than £800,000 in clinical negligence has been jailed for three months
- Sandip Singh Atwal was found in contempt of court in April and jailed at the High Court on Friday
- Atwal’s fraud was brought to light after the hospital trust commissioned a spying operation which revealed he was lying about the extent of his injuries
A patient who tried to scam a hospital trust out of more than £800,000 by deliberately exaggerating his injuries has been jailed for contempt of court.
Sandip Singh Atwal was handed a three month jail sentence at the High Court on Friday for trying to fraudulently claim £837,000 for clinical negligence.
His fraud was brought to light after Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust commissioned a surveillance operation and revealed he was lying about the extent of his injuries.
Atwal, who worked as a DJ and courier, was found in contempt of court at hearing at the High Court in April in relation to 14 allegations, including trying to deliberately deceive doctors and other experts about the extent of his continuing disability; and verifying those assertions by a statement of truth in his witness statement and schedule of loss and damage, knowing those statements were false.
Sentencing him, Judge Martin Spencer said the trust had made a “generous” settlement offer of £30,000 to Atwal in 2011.
He added: “You did not accept it. Instead you pursued a dishonestly aggravated claim, and by November 2014 when your schedule of loss and damage was served, the claim was pleaded at over £837,000.
“Those claims were based upon what you were falsely telling the medical and care experts was your continuing level of disability resulting from the negligent hospital treatment.
Atwal had been attacked by a man with a baseball bat in 2008, and was treated at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for two fractured fingers and a cut lip, among other injuries, court papers revealed.
He launched a clinical negligence claim in 2011 based on a failure to treat the fractures appropriately and suture his lip promptly.
Atwal, who was living with his family in Huddersfield at the time and did not attend the hearing in April, had claimed; he was unable to work as a DJ or courier; he was unable to lift items or help around the house; he required ongoing care; and he required therapy for psychiatric problems.
However, the court heard the trust was “suspicious” that his disabilities were not consistent with medical records and commissioned a covert video surveillance operation and an investigation of his social media activity.
Atwal was filmed loading and unloading a van and working as a courier without any apparent pain in his hand.
The social media investigation found Atwal had continued to work as a DJ, under the name Sunny KMS, until late 2011, and had released a music video showing him performing and dancing.
After settling the damages claim, the trust applied for contempt of court proceedings in November 2016 on the basis Mr Atwal had lied about his health to medical and other experts and to the court when he signed statements of truth in support of his witness statement.
Helen Vernon, NHS Resolution chief executive, said: “This landmark decision demonstrates that fraud against the NHS will be investigated by NHS Resolution and, significantly, dealt with robustly by the court.”
NHS Resolution statement