Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) is raising awareness of the risk of charity fraud as part of a national campaign during Charity Fraud Awareness Week 2019.
This year’s awareness week (21st – 25th October) aims to encourage and empower charities to talk about fraud and share best practice.
All charities are susceptible to fraud and can be seen as easy targets for criminals and, as fraud and cyber-crime is on the rise, it is important for charities to protect their income and assets.
According to The Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI), fraud is thought to cost the charity sector as much as £2.5bn a year.
However, unlike some other NHS organisations, WWL employs a dedicated in-house full-time Local Counter Fraud Specialist (LCFS), Collette Ryan.
Collette said: “Fraud against the NHS is not a victimless crime, because valuable funds are meant for patient care.
“The Trust wants to send a clear message that it has a zero tolerance to fraud, corruption and bribery.
“It will not be tolerated in our Trust both internally and externally, including any allegation of fundraising fraud against the Trust’s official charity, Three Wishes.
“The WWL Three Wishes charity was established as a registered charity to provide additional support with a real focus on the patient experience”.
During the awareness week, Collette and WWL’s Fundraising Manager, Janet Pennington will be raising awareness of the Three Wishes Charity.
Janet said: “As Fundraising Manager for the Three Wishes Charity, I would like promote the raising of funds in a safe and legal manner, so that our community fundraisers and our staff have the best possible fundraising experiences.
“We want to promote openness and honesty in dealing with the heartfelt and generous donations from our friends, families and the general public.
“By sharing best practice, we can become more resilient to fraud and together we can do more for our patients”.
The campaign is supported globally by a coalition of regulators, law enforcers, representative bodies and other not-for-profit stakeholders.