Two employees at a private psychiatric
hospital in Norfolk went on trial on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding
£2.5m out of the NHS with “fantasy charges” for
Nurse Andrew Breeze, 53, and accountant
Dominic Wilson, 36, deny conspiring to defraud primary care trusts
by invoicing them for one-to-one 24-hour patient care, described
as “extra care”, that the prosecution says was not provided.
The pair worked at Cawston Park,
a private hospital near Aylsham for people with mental health problems
run by Norfolk-based company Chancellor Care.
The trial is being covered by the
Daily Press newspaper.
Prosecuting, John Farmer told jurors
at Ipswich Crown Court that the service, charged at hundreds of
pounds per day, was also sometimes billed weeks in advance, before
it could be known what patients' needs would be.
The jury was told that Mark Deveney,
a psychiatric nurse who selected people for whom extra care was
to be charged, turned whistleblower after being sacked.
Mr Farmer said that PCTs for York
and Peterborough were billed for extra care during the period between
February 2004 and September 2006, as well as health trusts for Norwich
The trial, expected to last 14 weeks, continues.