NHS chief executive says any suspicions should be reported to its anti-fraud squad

The NHS chief executive has written to its directors of finance warning them to report suspicions of cover-pricing to its internal fraud squad.

The memo from chief executive David Nicholson informs directors about the Office of Fair Trading’s investigation into the construction industry, which has seen 112 construction companies accused of bid-rigging.

Nicholson directs suspicious directors towards the NHS Counter Fraud Services, which handles fraud and corruption cases within the public health sector.

He said: “All NHS organisations should familiarise themselves with the guidance from the OFT. Any organisations who have cause to believe that they may have been victims of these practices should contact NHS Counter Fraud Services.”

The letter goes on to echo the OFT’s guidance that “no assumptions” should be made that any of the named companies have infringed competition law, but stops short of warning procurers against dropping implicated companies from framework lists.