Northampton General Hospital worker handed suspended sentence after inventing extra shifts

Paul Wootton worked at NGH
Paul Wootton worked at NGH

A healthcare assistant working at NGH has escaped a jail sentence after defrauding the NHS of £3,400.

Paul Wootton, aged 30, of West Street, Ecton, was charged with fraud and securing unauthorised access to computer material with intent.

The healthcare assistant had accessed a hospital computer and used it to claim wages for shifts that he never worked. Taken together, the non-existent shifts were the equivalent of him working for 15 months.

In all, he defrauded the hospital of £3.400.

At Northampton Crown Court, Judge Michael Fowler sentenced Wootton to 12 months' jail, suspended for two years for fraud. He was also handed six months prison suspended for two years for the computer offence. The sentences are concurrent.

A spokeswoman for NGH said most people who work in the NHS and use its services are honest, but there are a minority who try to defraud it of resources.

She said: "At NGH we treat fraud very seriously and always thoroughly investigate any allegations we receive.

"Fraudsters are dealt with in the most appropriate manner, which could include prosecution through the criminal courts.

"We also seek to recover monies that have been defrauded. If a member of staff is involved we take appropriate disciplinary action and, if relevant, refer individuals to their professional body for further possible sanctions.

"Our staff and members of the public are encouraged to play their part in protecting NHS resources and report any suspicions of fraud to us.’