A former contract manager at a hospital trust has been sentenced to jail after using his position to defraud the organisation of more than half a million pounds.

Roy Dyke, former associate director of capital and development at Gloucestershire Hospitals Foundation Trust, was sentenced along with three co-conspirators at Bristol Crown Court for his role in defrauding the trust of £655,000. 

Dyke pleaded guilty to three fraud charges relating to filing hundreds of false invoices and using the money to fund a “lavish lifestyle”.

He was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.

His co-conspirators, Vincent Smith, Graham Fallows both received sentences of three years and four months while a fourth man, Peter Potente, received 16 months after all three pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud. 

The men were sentenced on 24 May, but a restriction on reporting the case was only lifted this week.

In a statement, the NHS Counter Fraud Authority said while at the trust Mr Dyke had filed a total of 204 false invoices, each usually worth a few thousand pounds, most of them for work that had never occurred. 

The invoices were made out to two companies - PSP Decorators Ltd and Longlevens Building and Roofing Ltd - run by Mr Dyke’s three co-conspirators and friends.

Mr Dyke then used the money to fund renovations for his home and his family’s home, giving the work to Longlevens Building and Roofing.

The fraud was discovered after colleagues became suspicious of Dyke’s insistence on personally handling invoices submitted by the company, leading to the launch of an investigation by the Gloucestershire NHS Counter Fraud Service and Gloucestershire Constabulary.

Richard Rippin, Head of Operations at the NHSCFA, said: “Their collaborative efforts have ensured that four people who thought they could take advantage of the NHS have been brought to justice. One of the perpetrators went so far as to spend the money he had stolen from the NHS to fund a luxurious lifestyle. Money intended for patient care should stay where it belongs, in the public purse.”

A trust spokesman said: ”Roy Dyke grossly abused his position of trust by deceitfully taking money from the NHS to fund a lavish lifestyle. The severity of his sentence, the financial ruin and the loss of reputation of Dyke and his co-conspirators sends out a strong message of deterrent to anyone who thinks they can cheat the system in such a way and get away with it.”

The trust said it was expecting to recover about 90 per cent of the money defrauded, including from Mr Dyke’s NHS pension.