NHS Counter Fraud launches interactive #trackthetruck campaign

The NHS Counter Fraud Authority (NHSCFA) has launched a campaign to raise public awareness of fraud in the health service using signs on its trucks, which took to the roads last week, alongside social media work to drive engagement.

The NHSCFA #trackthetruck campaign aims to raise public awareness of fraud in the health service (pic credit Gary Blackhurst)
The NHSCFA #trackthetruck campaign aims to raise public awareness of fraud in the health service (pic credit Gary Blackhurst)

The NHSCFA is using Twitter hashtag #trackthetruck to encourage people to take photographs of the trucks and post them on social media.

The campaign is intended to raise awareness of fraud within the NHS and encourage members of the public to be more proactive in reporting a crime via its dedicated hotline, 0800 028 4060.

According to NHSCFA, it was estimated in 2016-17 that fraud cost the NHS around £1.25bn a year – a sum that could otherwise have been used to pay for more than 40,000 nurses or to purchase over 5,000 frontline ambulances.

Gary Blackhurst, who leads comms at NHSCFA, said the organisation wanted to call people to action regarding the scale of fraud in the health service.

He said: "The comms does exactly what it says on the, um, truck. People can help us by looking out for fraud and reporting any suspicions to our Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line."

The trucks currently being used in the campaign – dubbed the "drive down fraud fleet", or DDFF – are five of NHS Supply Chain’s 18 similar vehicles. All are branded with the message: "Help drive down NHS fraud."

The trucks deliver vital NHS supplies to cities and towns across England, spreading the counter-fraud message as they go.

NHSCFA plans to brand several smaller vehicles and is considering different messages to carried on the trucks.

The social-media campaign encourages members of the public to send in images of the trucks to the NHSCFA, which in turn will share them via its social and traditional media channels.

The online interaction will allow NHSCFA to monitor the campaign's impact and to alter its comms to extend the trucks' outreach more effectively.

Blackhurst told PRWeek: "We believe that driving down fraud in the NHS is a collective responsibility. Tackling fraud is a hard slog, not always a fun job – but it can help to make things a bit entertaining to get the wider buy-in. 'I spy the truck' will hopefully lead to 'I spy NHS fraud'."

Mersey Internal Audit Agency and staff at Stockport Hospital were the first to #trackthetruck, tweeting an image of the branded vehicle.

The NHSCFA has an anonymous online reporting link and hotline for those who suspect a crime has been committed.

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