Who can we really trust?
A 34 year old recruitment consultant has been given a two year sentence, suspended for one year for falsifying eight doctors CV’s in an attempt to secure them jobs. Ross Etherson admitted to 21 counts of fraud and by the end of his swindle had cost the NHS over £37,000. The doctors involved had no idea that their CV’s and references were being altered and were given locum jobs with United Lincolnshire and Western Sussex NHS Trusts. Etherson was fortunate that no incidents of patient harm had been reported as a result of his deceit.
When interviewed, Etherson confirmed this was the very culture from the outset of his employment. His behaviour was seen as normal practice and they would divert problems to a fictitious manager. The doctors’ would send in their true CV’s which would then be embellished so that they appeared more desirable. These doctors were being paid £15 an hour whereas the agency was invoicing the NHS up to £120 per hour. The company is still currently trading but under a different name.
The scam was exposed when a clinical services manager notified the NHS Counter-Fraud Service about his concerns in relation to some of the locum doctors CV’s and references. Some managers carried out the correct checks before appointing the doctors; others employed medics with false documentation.
The fact that these doctors managed to get through the system and work in the hospitals despite lacking the knowledge and experience in itself is a worrying matter. This is why it is crucial that the right background checks are carried out so that such incidents cannot occur. Having a clean systematic approach would mean it leaves minimal opportunity for someone to tamper with documentation and would ensure that the checks are being carried out by official organisations.
Here at Safe Screening we offer a simple and straightforward method to ensure that the correct background checks are being carried out so you know the person you have employed has the right qualifications. Our system has a full audit trail, date and time stamped, meaning all movements can be traced back to the person who carried them out.