UK-based Zimbabwean nurse loses registration after caught claiming pay for 144 fake shifts – A nurse has been deregistered after being caught pocketing £50,000 in a scam involving fake overtime claims.
Patience Machingauta falsely claimed pay for 144 non-existent shifts at Luton and Dunstable Hospital over a two-year period between 2017 and 2019.
The hospital’s A&E is one of England‘s best-performing units and handles 18,000 patients per month. Investigators discovered that Machingauta had been submitting fraudulent claims since 2015 and had computer access to the hospital’s staffing system.
She also used a colleague’s login to continue the deception after changing departments. Although she denied any wrongdoing, Machingauta admitted to making a “genuine error” and agreed to repay the £36,702 she had stolen.
This is not the first case of its kind in the healthcare industry within the UK, and significant concerns have been raised about the prevalence of fraudulent activity, particularly in the NHS.
Organisations such as NHS Protect have been working to address this issue, but cases like Machingauta’s demonstrate how much work remains to be done in this area. The impact of such fraud can also prove devastating for patients, as it takes much-needed resources out of their care and also undermines trust in the healthcare system. Encouraging whistleblowers and investing in better accounting technology may be necessary to combat fraud in healthcare effectively.