Borough hospitals raise awareness of charity fraud risk

The borough’s hospitals have been raising awareness of the risk of charity fraud.
Lisa Loughlin, Collette Ryan, Laura Lythgoe and Janet PenningtonLisa Loughlin, Collette Ryan, Laura Lythgoe and Janet Pennington
Lisa Loughlin, Collette Ryan, Laura Lythgoe and Janet Pennington

They are doing so as part of national campaign Charity Fraud Awareness Week, which started yesterday and aims to encourage and empower charities to talk about scams and share best practice.

All charities are susceptible to fraud and can be seen as easy targets for criminals and, as fraud and cyber-crime is on the rise, it is important for charities to protect their income and assets.

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According to The Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI), fraud is thought to cost the charity sector as much as £2.5bn a year.

But unlike some other NHS organisations, WWL employs a dedicated in-house full-time local counter-fraud specialist (LCFS), Collette Ryan.

She said: “Fraud against the NHS is not a victimless crime, because valuable funds are meant for patient care. The trust wants to send a clear message that it has a zero tolerance to fraud, corruption and bribery.

“It will not be tolerated in our trust both internally and externally, including any allegation of fundraising fraud against the trust’s official charity, Three Wishes.

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"The WWL Three Wishes charity was established as a registered charity to provide additional support with a real focus on the patient experience”.

During the awareness week, Collette and WWL’s fund-raising manager Janet Pennington are raising awareness of the Three Wishes Charity.

Janet said: “I would like promote the raising of funds in a safe and legal manner, so that our community fund-raisers and our staff have the best possible fundraising experiences. We want to promote openness and honesty in dealing with the heartfelt and generous donations from our friends, families and the general public.

“By sharing best practice, we can become more resilient to fraud and together we can do more for our patients”.