• Nursing assistant submitted fraudulent claim for shifts at adult mental health unit
  • Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber FT introduced new e-roster system last month
  • Local counter-fraud specialist worked with NHS Protect after false claim came to light

A mental health trust has introduced a new rostering system after a nursing assistant claimed for more than £7,600 for bank shifts he did not work.

Thomas Hathaway appeared at Sheffield Magistrates Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.

The defendant was a band two nursing assistant at Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Foundation Trust and claimed for bank shifts he had not worked on an adult mental health unit over six months.

The trust introduced a new e-roster system last month to prevent similar fraud after a ward manager discovered Mr Hathaway had not been on duty at the relevant times.

A trust spokeswoman said: “We will not tolerate staff who commit fraud. We have thorough checks in place with all our financial transactions.

“We have an e- rostering system in place now for our bank staff, which helps managers schedule shifts to meet patient needs.”

The nursing assistant received more than £3,000 after submitting claims for £7,601 before checks revealed he had not worked the shifts.

An investigation by the local counter-fraud specialist, supported by NHS Protect, discovered Mr Hathaway had claimed for 81 shifts between 11 December 2015 and 1 June 2016.

He was dismissed by the trust last September and has since repaid the money he received.

Appearing before magistrates this week, he was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £85 in costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

The trust spokeswoman said: “As soon as any suspicion arises or allegations are raised, we work with our counter-fraud team and NHS Protect to fully investigate the circumstances and take the appropriate action, which has resulted in this court case.

“We want to thank the counter-fraud team and NHS Protect for all of their support in this matter.”

A spokesman for NHS Protect said: We believe the vast majority of NHS staff claiming for bank hours worked do so honestly. The minority who submit false timesheets let the NHS down and divert precious resources from patient care, at the expense of the taxpayer.

“Local counter-fraud specialists are playing a valuable role bringing these kinds of cases to court and advising their trusts on preventative measures.”