Posted by:27 August, 2012
She mentioned how she had been subpoenaed to appear in court as a witness in a false claim for work-related injury brought by a nurse on her ward.
Fortunately for the hospital, the nurse had failed to check her facts, and had claimed to have been left alone and forced to move an obese patient. Had she done her research she may not have chosen to cite a patient who had cachexia due to advanced cancer, or to claim the injury occurred on a day she was not on shift.
Of course the nurse received no compensation - but that was the end of the matter. Her union had funded her case, and the hospital took no action against her for making what was obviously a fraudulent claim so while she didn’t make any money, nor did she lose anything.
Many health professionals, but particularly nursing staff, incur serious work-related injuries for which they justly receive financial compensation - although most would probably prefer to give the money back if they could regain their health. But there are always a few bad apples in any barrel - and most of those who make fraudulent claims probably do their homework a little more thoroughly than this nurse. They also have access to unscrupulous ambulance-chasing legal services who will ensure they do not make elementary mistakes.
With budgets stretched to breaking point and jobs being axed to save money, the NHS cannot afford to spend thousands defending fraudulent claims. Perhaps it is time to hit back. In situations as blatant as this nurse’s, surely there is an argument for suing or pressing criminal charges rather than letting them go unpunished? It would not take too many frauds being made an example of to make the stakes high enough to deter others.
From Practice blog
Your practice editors Kathryn, Ann and Eileen talk about nursing in practice