One of the oldest tricks in the book ... NHS style : ... oks-report
NHS : GPs have up to 3.6 million 'ghost patients' on books - report.

£550m wrongly allocated to GPs who have people who have died or moved away on books, MP says.

As many as 3.6 million “ghost patients” are registered with GPs’ surgeries in England, it has been reported.

People who have died or moved away are still registered at practices across the country, and their number is rising by nearly 6,000 a week.

Doctors in England are reported to receive an average of £151 a year for each patient on their books, whether they attend appointments or not.

The Labour MP Meg Hillier, who chairs the Commons public accounts committee, said as much as £550m was being wrongly allocated to GPs with ghost patients on their books.

She told the Mail on Sunday: “At a time of severe strain on NHS budgets, this could be diverted elsewhere on patients who need it. The fact that the number of ghost patients keeps going up underlines the chaotic nature of back office functions within the NHS.”

Data from NHS Digital shows that 59.2 million people are registered with a GP in England, but the Office for National Statistics puts the current UK population at 55.6 million, leaving a gap of 3.6 million, the paper reported.

It emerged in July 2016 that NHS England had employed the private firm Capita to carry out “list cleansing” in which patients who had not visited their GP for five years faced being removed from the practice list.

A spokesman for NHS England, which says it factors ghost patients into its budget allocations, said: “GP practices work hard to keep their registered patient lists as accurate as possible and NHS England is working with Capita and GP surgeries to transform this process, make it digital and any savings identified will be ploughed back into the NHS.”

A spokesman for Capita said: “This is a complex area involving GPs and other third parties. Alongside other improvements we are making, we are working closely with NHS England, who are consulting on proposed changes and guidance that will enable us to start targeted data quality checks on GP lists as part of our services.”

A bit like membership numbers on Carers UK ... post once a decade ago and your counted as a member in 2018 ?

Still , somewhat amazing with all the digital technology available today , debacles like this one still flourish ?

Will anyone be convicted for receiving monies under false pretences ... or even be bought to court ?

SNOWBALL and HELL spring to mind ... just write it off ... at our expenses !