• Nearly £145,000 taken from Bromley CCG through fraud
  • Noel Morrow signed off cheques to his own companies
  • Fraud uncovered after invoices were submitted on behalf of a discharged patient

A senior commissioner who defrauded Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group of nearly £145,000 has been jailed for two years and three months.

Noel Morrow, 47, of Rivermead, East Molesey, Surrey, was convicted yesterday of fraud by abuse of position after authorising fake payments to two companies set up in his name.

Mr Morrow was the mental health and learning disability lead commissioner for the CCG from June 2012 to April 2014.

The fraud was uncovered after the CCG’s finance department spotted a suspicious invoice from Choice and Independent Care Solutions Ltd, relating to the care of a patient who had already been discharged.

Further investigations revealed the company was registered to Mr Morrow’s home address.

Croydon Crown Court heard how Mr Morrow was responsible for “cost per case” packages for patients with mental health or learning difficulties.

As a senior commissioner, Mr Morrow was authorised to sign off cheques up to the value of £10,000.

Mr Morrow used his authority to sign off cheques to two companies set up in his name.

After the initial findings, the CCG requested help from the NHS Protect financial investigation team.

Further investigations found all of the invoices from Choice and Independence Care Solutions and the second company, Blue Gale Ltd, were for services that were never delivered, and that £144,986.60 in payments from Bromley CCG were paid into a bank account owned by Mr Morrow.

It was found that the money had been used by Mr Morrow to fund a “comfortable lifestyle”. He has since paid back £93,681 to his former employer. This was taken into account by the sentencing judge.

Lead investigator Melanie Alflatt said: “We are pleased to reach a positive conclusion to this investigation, which benefited from close work with the CCG as well as the national level support of NHS Protect and its specialist financial investigations team.

“It demonstrates to others who might try to defraud the NHS that they are likely to get caught and face severe consequences if they do.”

“The CCG says further controls have been put in place to “prevent such frauds happening in the future.”