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Black Nurses targeted by NHS fraud investigators

TARGETED: New figures show that black nurses are disproportionately targeted by fraud investigators

OVER HALF of all nurses investigated by NHS anti-fraud sector involved black and minority ethnic (BME) staff, according to new figures.

It has been reported that 66 out of the 98 people prosecuted between April 2010 and March 2011 were recorded as “African Caribbean”.

Figures released to Nursing Times under the Freedom of Information Act shows that black people are 13 times more likely than to have been charged with offences by NHS Protect, which is the body responsible for cutting fraud in the health service.

The research also shows that despite black people only making up 5 percent of all NHS staff, 57 percent all investigations involved black and ethnic minority groups.

An NHS Protect spokesman said: “NHS Protect’s focus is the investigation and collection of evidence relating to allegations of fraud or corruption, not a person’s ethnicity.”

“Our activities are largely determined by the referrals we receive, and we are obliged to follow up wherever a reported suspicion merits closer investigation.”

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