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In May, Dorothy House Hospice Care (DHHC) was the victim of a criminal financial fraud by an external party. This resulted in £130,000 being stolen from the hospice’s bank account.
Following an independent investigation, Dorothy House can confirm that there was no internal staff collusion in the fraud and we have now successfully recovered £42,000 and the remaining sum is being pursued by a police force in the Midlands area.
An independent investigation was conducted on behalf of the trustees, by Bishop Fleming, a firm of chartered accountants with forensic investigation expertise. The report concluded that although the hospice’s security measures were robust, some additional measures would be appropriate. Dorothy House has implemented all of these recommendations.
A further audit by TIAA (Independent Internal Auditors) concluded that Dorothy House has reasonable arrangements in place – providing a good level of security from the risk of fraud or cybercrime. Additional recommendations, checks and balances continue to be added to further protect Dorothy House against security threats.
Dorothy House has taken this criminal incident extremely seriously and all relevant authorities have been consulted including the police, banks, DHHC trustees and insurers, the Charity Commission and NHS counter fraud support. Both patient and family care remained unaffected throughout the fraudulent incident and subsequent investigation, as did our financial stability due to sound contingency planning.
Post-incident, Dorothy House has been working hard to help the UK hospice community and the wider charity sector by sharing our experiences, conclusions and actions in order to raise awareness of the risk of fraudulent attacks.
John Davies, CEO at Dorothy House Hospice Care said of the partial recovery of funds taken in the fraud in May, “I am delighted that £42,000 has been rightfully returned to the hospice, but we will not rest until we’ve explored every avenue to recover the outstanding money.
“That such a heartless crime can be targeted at a charity like Dorothy House is outrageous, especially when the hospice is reliant on fundraising for income and provides its services free of charge. We are grateful to the local community for their tremendous support and loyalty following this incident and we thank our staff and volunteers for their ongoing dedication to delivering the outstanding care we are renowned for.”
Dorothy House Hospice Care was recently recognised as one of two high performing hospices by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in their ‘State of Hospice Services 2014-17’ Report published on 13th October 2017. Dorothy House is rated Outstanding by the CQC which places it in the top 6% of adult social care providers nationally.
The hospice is a leading, independent charity whose services are available free of charge. Dorothy House provides palliative and end of life care from early diagnosis onwards across 700 square miles, serving a population of 550,000 people across Bath and North-East Somerset (BaNES), Wiltshire and Somerset.