What are Independent Contractors?
Most GPs, opticians, dentists and pharmacists are independent contractors. This means that they are not employed directly by the NHS but are contracted to provide services to patients for which they are paid by the NHS. In addition, independent contractors may also carry out private work which is not funded by the NHS. This means that within the individual practice, such as a GP practice, the staff are employed directly by the contract holder and not the NHS.
In relation to any suspected frauds within the practice the NHS Local Counter Fraud Specialists only investigate where there has been a loss or potential loss to the NHS. Any frauds against the independent contractor which do not involve a loss or potential loss to the NHS would have to be investigated by the practice themselves
Examples of fraud in the independent contractor area which would require investigation by the Local Counter Fraud Specialists include: