Fighting Fraud

This October, NHS Professionals will be participating in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). This means that both corporate and bank member payroll data will be submitted and matched against data from other public organisations, to help identify any potential fraud.

What is the National Fraud Initiative (NFI)?

An exercise conducted by the Cabinet Office every two years that matches electronic data within and between public and private sector bodies to help prevent and protect fraud.

The data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. This is usually personal information. Computerised data matching allows potentially fraudulent claims and payments to be identified.

Where a match is found, it may indicate that there is an inconsistency which needs to be investigated further. Until an investigation is carried out, no assumption can be made as to whether there is an instance of fraud.

How does it affect NHSP staff?

Every two years, NHSP participate in the NFI. This means that both corporate and bank member payroll data will be submitted in October and this will then be matched against data from other public bodies to help identify fraud.

Things to note:

  • You do not have the option to opt out (the use of data by the Cabinet Office in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under Part 6 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. This does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 and there is no opt out.)

Why is the NFI important?

The National Fraud Initiative has enabled participating organisations to prevent and detect over £300 million fraud and error between April 2016 – March 2018.

Below are some examples of previously identified types of fraud in the NHS:

  • NHS employees with no right to work or reside in the UK.
  • Employees working elsewhere whilst on sick leave.
  • NHS workers fraudulently claiming housing and council tax benefits.
  • Overpayment of invoices resulting from the payment of duplicate invoices and credit notes.
  • Occupational pension payments paid to deceased pensioners several years after their death.

Useful links for more info:

NFI Public Sector Data requirements

Code of Data Matching Practice

Cabinet Office’s legal powers

Who can you contact?

Steve Nicholls is NHSP’s Local Counter Fraud Specialist.

If you have any questions about the NFI, please get in touch with him using the below details:


Phone: 01924 816098

Post: Woodkirk House Dewsbury District Hospital Halifax Rd Dewsbury WF13 4HS

About the author

NHS Professionals administrator

NHS Professionals manages the temporary staffing needs of around 66 NHS Trusts across England. An integral part of the NHS, it aims to reduce Trusts’ spending on flexible workers without compromising quality, by providing greater transparency of demand and supplying bank staff at the best possible rate. Its bank of more than 40,000 flexible workers comprises general and specialist nurses, doctors, midwives, admin/clerical , allied health professionals, healthcare scientists, support services among other healthcare professionals.

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