A massive consultancy firm paid to run NHS counter-fraud services has just escaped prosecution - for alleged fraud.
PwC is at the heart of many privatisation programmes, often writing reports used by NHS management to justify privatisation. A three-year inquiry by internal investigator NHS Protect found evidence showing restricted workforce data was supplied to PwC, according to Health Service Journal. PwC allegedly used this in the process of winning and delivering contracts with NHS providers.
NHS Protect submitted its file to the Crown Prosecution Service in May. The CPS has now - conveniently - decided there was not enough evidence to prove criminal fraud.
Investigators allege PwC obtained the data from an NHS employee. It would have used this to win contracts and consultancy work with 20 trusts between 2010 and 2014.
When asked by Health Service Journal, PwC would not comment on which members of its senior management were aware the company was using restricted data improperly.
PwC certainly ought to be expert on the whole issue of fraud. It runs 'Fraud Academy' - "to help prevent, detect and investigate fraud and economic crime in all their many forms."
After years of privatisation of NHS services, PwC is completely embedded in the spider's web of 'public-private partnerships'.
For example, NHS Litigation Authority's local counter-fraud specialist - to whom suspected fraud should be reported - was a PwC employee. This post has since changed hands to the big outsourcing and accountancy firm RSM UK, and the NHS Litigation Authority is now called NHS Resolution.
The chair of PwC's Health Industries Oversight Board is Alan Milburn. He was health secretary in Tony Blair's government. One more reason why Jeremy Corbyn's Labour must completely break with the Blairites, and pledge to bring all privatised NHS services back into public ownership.
Discussions include: 'Can NHS privatisation be stopped before it's too late?'
This article was amended on 26 October 2017 to reflect the change in the private firm providing counter-fraud services and the NHS Litigation Authority's name.