Broomfield Hospital IT manager guilty of £800,000 fraud

A nurse has been suspended following an incident at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford Picture: ARCHA

Barry David Stannard was an IT manager for the trust which ran Broomfield Hospital - Credit: Archant

A former hospital IT manager has been convicted of cheating the NHS out of more than £800,000 in a seven-year procurement scam. 

Barry David Stannard appeared in court to admit two counts of fraud by false representation and two counts of cheating the public revenue while working as a senior IT manager for the Mid Essex Hospital Trust (MEHT).

The 53-year-old, of Chelmsford, and previously of Hadleigh, in Suffolk, was head of unified communications at MEHT, which has since been merged into the Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, when the offences took place.

On Wednesday, Chelmsford Crown Court heard that concerns arose after the trust ran a data matching exercise on its payroll and 'accounts payable' records, alongside Companies House records.

While Stannard had submitted a ‘nil return’ declaration of interests form to the trust, an investigation confirmed he was actually the director of two companies that had received a large amount of money from the trust between 2012 and 2019.

No products or services invoiced for by these companies were ever provided to the NHS.

Initial enquiries were conducted by the local counter fraud specialist provider, RSM, and the investigation was escalated to the national level investigation by the NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) as the likely scale of the losses emerged.

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The NHSCFA said hundreds of invoices submitted by Stannard's own companies to MEHT were all individually for relatively modest amounts – meaning he was authorised to sign them off without further checks.

On the invoices he submitted, Stannard also charged for VAT which was never forwarded to HMRC.

Some of the invoices had a VAT number that was false and related to another legitimate company.

The VAT he charged the NHS was in excess of £132,000 and formed part of the total £806,229.80 he was found to have scammed from MEHT’s IT budget.

Stannard is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing on June 30.

The NHSCFA has renewed its focus on procurement fraud, and is encouraging more people to report any suspicion through the established reporting lines.

If you suspect anyone is committing fraud or another economic crime against the NHS, visit cfa.nhs.uk or call 0800 0284060.


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