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Senior commissioner jailed after defrauding Bromley CCG of £145k


17 October 2016

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A temporary senior commissioner who defrauded NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) of nearly £145,000 has been jailed for just over two years.

Noel Morrow, 47, of Rivermead, East Molesey, Surrey, was convicted of fraud by abuse of position for invoicing the CCG through two companies, owned by him, for mental health services that were never delivered.

As a senior commissioner, Morrow was responsible for the approval and management of funding for mental health “cost per case” care packages for patients with learning difficulties.

A temporary senior commissioner who defrauded NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) of nearly £145,000 has been jailed for just over two years.

Noel Morrow, 47, of Rivermead, East Molesey, Surrey, was convicted of fraud by abuse of position for invoicing the CCG through two companies, owned by him, for mental health services that were never delivered.

As a senior commissioner, Morrow was responsible for the approval and management of funding for mental health “cost per case” care packages for patients with learning difficulties.

The investigation established that all of the invoices, to the amount of £144,986.60, from Choice and Independence Care Solutions and Blue Gale Ltd were paid by Bromley CCG into a bank account actually owned by Morrow

The investigation began after the finance department at Bromley CCG spotted a suspicious invoice from Choice and Independence Care Solutions Ltd that related to a patient whom Morrow had previously said was already discharged and therefore not incurring these costs.

The CCG conducted further investigations and found that the company was registered to Morrow’s home address and a former address.

The investigation uncovered links between Morrow and a second company, Blue Gale Ltd, which was also invoicing the CCG for delivery of care packages.

Morrow had a sign off limit of £10,000 and all of the invoices from these two companies were just under that amount, so Morrow could authorise them himself.

A spokesperson for the CCG said: “Morrow was arrested and charged as soon as sufficient evidence was available. Advised by the Local Counter Fraud Specialist (LCFS), we immediately implemented further controls to prevent such frauds happening in the future.”

NHS Protect’s financial investigation team were contacted by the LCFS to conduct a money laundering investigation.

They found that all of the money obtained through fraudulent means had been used by the defendant to fund a comfortable lifestyle.

Sue Frith, Managing Director of NHS Protect, said: “In this case a Senior Commissioner, no less, used his position of power and trust to exploit a vulnerable patient group and divert money meant for their care to his own pocket.

“But we have recovered £93,000 of that. This is the second major recovery of defrauded NHS money in the last week, showing what can be achieved when local and national NHS bodies work together to tackle fraud.” 

The sentencing judge took account of the fact that Morrow has paid back £93,681 to his former employer. Morrow was employed at Bromley CCG from June 2012 to April 2014. 

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