A former commercial manager who had joined the NHS as a 15-year-old warehouse boy was jailed for 21 months in July this year after admitting 65 charges of stealing supplies from Wirral Hospital trust. The court was told that Paul Smith, 48, pocketed money for goods the trust did not even know it had supplied. His lawyer claimed that had there been proper auditing, supervision or tracking of goods and money the offences could never have been committed.

A post room manager at another trust was summarily sacked and later went to prison for two years after being caught selling on postage stamps and pocketing the cash. The case came to light when the Royal Mail asked about outstanding bills for stamps supplied.

Wharfedale General Hospital manager John Nigel Henderson went on the run when£50,000 was discovered to be missing from the accounts of the postgraduate medical centre he headed. He later pleaded guilty to theft and was jailed in November 1996 for 34 months.

Credit controller Barbara Parkinson was jailed for 21 months after pocketing£23,000 intended for doctors at Aintree Hospitals trust where she worked. She pleaded guilty in June 1995 to seven specimen offences of theft and had 46 similar offences taken into consideration.

Payroll operations manager Gregory Lauder-Frost admitted eight specimen charges of embezzling£110,000 from Riverside health authority in 1992 and was jailed for two years. The court was told he had channelled money into extreme right-wing political causes.