Former Oxford University Hospitals CIO sentenced for fraud

A senior NHS hospital manager, who gained his job by falsely stating he had a degree, has been given a two year suspended sentence for fraud against the NHS at Oxford Crown Court.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 2:12 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 2:14 pm
Court news

Peter Knight was a director on the Board of Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust, serving as its chief information and digital officer from August 2016 until his resignation in September 2018.

He has been ordered by the court to complete 30 hours of rehabilitation and 200 hours of unpaid work at a sentencing hearing today, January 23.

The locally-led fraud investigation began after an anonymous tip-off was reported by OUH’s chief finance officer to the Trust’s Local Counter Fraud Specialist (LCFS).

All of the Trust’s executive and non–executive directors’ files had been updated in November 2017 as part of its duties under the fit and proper persons checks. However, when checked during the investigation, Knight’s HR file did not contain a copy of the degree certificate he had claimed to have.

Possessing a relevant degree was not formally an essential requirement for applicants: those with “at least ten years’ experience in senior management positions within sizeable organisations” could apply without one.

Knight pleaded guilty at his first appearance on December, 3 last year at Oxford Magistrates Court.

Sue Frith, CEO of the NHS Counter Fraud Authority, said: “Today’s sentencing of Peter Knight for fraud against the NHS is a reminder that the law and the rules apply to all in the NHS.

"Anyone who obtains an NHS job through lying is committing fraud. Any suspicion of fraud against the NHS should be reported via our fraud and corruption reporting line, either online or by telephone."

The NHS lost £1,27 billion to fraud in the year 2017-2018. If you suspect that anyone is committing fraud or another economic crime against the NHS, tell NHSCFA about it by visiting www.cfa.nhs.uk or telephone the 24-hour reporting line on 0800 028 40 60.