Hospital Dr News

Doctor who falsified records sentenced for fraud

A Rochdale doctor who stole over £62,000 from the NHS was sentenced to 9 months’ imprisonment (suspended for 18 months) and must pay £50,000 costs following a fraud investigation supported by NHS Protect.

Dr Thirumurugan Sundaresan of Park Road, Helmshore, Rossendale, Lancashire, admitted to falsifying the records of 1,703 patients to hit targets and increase payments from the NHS to his practice.

The GP partner at East Street Surgery, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, defrauded the money from the then Heywood, Middleton & Rochdale Primary Care Trust (PCT). He pleaded guilty to two offences under the Fraud Act, and was ordered to pay £50,000 to the NHS towards the cost of the investigation.

In just three days, between 21 and 24 March 2008, Sundaresan manipulated the practice’s patient records system over 7,000 times in order to hit QOF (Quality and Outcomes Framework) financial targets from the PCT. He falsely claimed for patient checks he had not carried out including digital retinopathy checks, which can save diabetic patients from going blind.

The unusual pattern of the practice’s output led to a fraud investigation supported by NHS Protect, which provided expert advice to the Local Counter Fraud Specialist.

Pauline Smith, North West Area Anti Fraud Specialist, NHS Protect, said: “Dr Sundaresan defrauded NHS funds and could have put the health of patients at risk. Stealing from the NHS is not a victimless crime, as this case proves. NHS Protect worked closely with the Local Counter Fraud Specialist to obtain this successful result. We always push for the strongest possible sanctions for offenders”.

Dr Sundaresan is suspended from the East Street Surgery and has been referred to the General Medical Council.

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One Response to “Doctor who falsified records sentenced for fraud”

  1. Malcolm Morrison says:

    Clearly ‘targets can provide temptation’!

    Doctors ‘doctoring’ documents can never be condoned. It is good to see that his fraud was discovered and he has been brought before a criminal courst and found guilty. His sentence may seem ‘light’; his real sentence will be when he is (inevitably) ‘struck off’.

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