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The NHS anti-fraud squad investigates GPs in England when they suspect non-existent patients.

Doctors are getting an average of £ 150 per year for each patient listed, but records show that there were 3.6 million more patients in the system last year than it was. There were some in England.

The disagreement prompted NHS England to hire a company to start tracking down these so-called ghost patients.

The NHS Counter Fraud Authority is launching its own investigation.

Physician leaders have always insisted that the issue of ghost patients most often had an innocent explanation, such as cases where patients had died or had moved without their general physician being aware.

It is understood that the list cleaning exercise, carried out on behalf of the NHS England by the Capita Business Service Company, began to result in a reduction in the number of claims for compensation.

He focused on patients who have not seen their doctor for five years.

Attempts were made to contact these patients and if they were not found, they were removed from practice.

But NHS fraud investigators have been testing transaction samples, which, according to the BBC, has detected some "anomalies" that have raised suspicions.

The anti-fraud team will now carry out a comprehensive analysis of the records kept by the NHS England and the NHS Business Services Authority, which administers payment systems to general practitioners, to determine whether doctors have fraudulently requested patients.

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Investigators believe that the funding system for registered patients is particularly vulnerable to fraud.

The average GP has about 1,700 patients on their list. Payments therefore represent a significant part of their income.

The anti-fraud team has estimated that up to £ 88 million could be wrongly claimed for around 1% of the Grand Prix budget.

Susan Frith, head of NHS fraud, said that the focus on GPs was only one of the priorities of the coming year.

"By preventing fraud, by effectively identifying and fighting it where it occurs, and by seeking to recover money lost through fraud, we can ensure that valuable NHS funds are used at the same time. the purposes for which they are lavished. "

Dr. Richard Vautrey, of the British Medical Association, said that it would be wrong to jump to conclusions.

"Some of them will be people recently deceased or left the country, others may be homeless or simply not counted in government statistics, and we worry about any suggestion that which any divergence would be due to a deliberate deception on the part of regular general practitioners. "

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