Although many might associate fraudulent behaviour with "crash for cash" type claims or dishonest home/travel insurance claims ("Claimed and Shamed" provides ample evidence of this), fraudulent and exaggerated claims are also seen in the field of clinical negligence. The use of surveillance has become an invaluable tool in an effort to combat such claims.
In this unfortunate case, the claimant had suffered a genuine injury resulting from an accepted delay in diagnosing cauda equina syndrome. The claimant alleged injury to her bladder and bowels and severe limitations to her mobility. Surveillance footage, obtained on the back of inconsistent evidence, found the claimant to be mobilising much more freely than she alleged and the claim was eventually discontinued. The claimant received a custodial sentence of 6 months and ordered to pay the NHS Trust's costs.
This case serves as a reminder that fraudulent and exaggerated claims continue to permeate the field of clinical negligence and careful scrutiny of evidence is vital to ensure such claims are identified and dealt with accordingly.
This is the longest custodial sentence obtained by an NHS trust in committal proceedings to date.