Former NHS IT director admits to fraud that cost hospital £81,000
A former director of ICT at a Surrey NHS trust has pleaded guilty to corruption after receiving payments to award a contract worth £950,000 to a supplier.
Peter Lewis, who was informatics director at the Royal Surrey County NHS Foundation Trust, has admitted to receiving more than £74,000 from an IT company director in exchange for signing off the contract.
The company director, Richard Moxon, also pled guilty to corruption for the fraud, which took place between January and December 2011, at a hearing earlier this week.
According to a statement from Surrey police, Moxon was awarded a contract to provide software for records data at the hospital’s A&E department, said to be worth £950,000 for the first year.
The police said that Moxon submitted multiple invoices for £15,000 – the highest value Lewis could sign off himself – from a number of different companies he controlled.
In return, Moxon paid Lewis nine payments, totalling £73,770, as well as a further payment of £7,200 to a stables that Lewis owed money to.
It was later found that 40% of the ICT product supplier by Moxon “did not meet the needs of the trust”.
And, although the trust did recover some of the lost money by using some elements of the software in a new system in August 2012, it declared a loss of £433,000 on the project in the 2011-12 financial year.
The direct fraud against the hospital was almost £81,000, the police said.
According to the police statement, the NHS trust discovered the fraudulent activity when it investigated Lewis’ relationship with a different supplier.
Detective sergeant Chris Rambour of the Surrey and Essex economic crime unit said: “Peter Lewis chose to breach the trust placed in him by the NHS and to feather his own nest. It was only through the diligence of the Trust that his corruption came to light.
“I am proud of the painstaking forensic accounting our officers carried out in order to bring this case to court, and grateful to the Royal Surrey for their support in our work.”
The trust’s deputy chief executive Alf Turner said that it was “pleased that, although it has taken a long time, justice will be served”.
Moxon and Lewis will be charged on 6 January at Guildford Crown Court.
PublicTechnology research shows a big spike in the number of contracts awarded to IT security specialists by public-sector buyers
Auditors uncover £15m in fraud and errors and urge vigilance against dangers posed by pandemic
Labour supports possible creation of local schemes
Role advertised to oversee NHS use of data