Tory warned of NHS thefts

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

A FORMER Health minister last night protested at government failures to stop the theft of property from the NHS which led to the damning indictment of fraud and lax security in the health service, writes Colin Brown.

Sir Gerard Vaughan, a senior Conservative backbench MP and former minister of state at the Department of Health, said he had warned William Waldegrave, Virginia Bottomley's predecessor as Secretary of State for Health, about the lax security in the NHS with another Tory backbench colleage, Ralph Howell, the MP for Norfolk North.

'We told the Government about this, but she has done absolutely nothing. I am very angry about it and let down,' said Sir Gerard, the Conservative MP for Reading East and a senior member of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers.

Losses through theft and fraud are estimated to at about pounds 600m a year.