Fraud may be costing the NHS £5bn a year. Errors may be costing a further £2bn per year, according to the former head of the NHS anti-fraud section. These losses (to fraud alone) might be used to fund 250,000 new nurses, according to a report reviewed prior to publication by BBC’s Panorama.
NHS fraud and error ‘costing the UK £7bn a year’. London: BBC Health News, March 24th 2014.
Does fraud really cost NHS £5bn a year? London: BBC News, March 24th 2014.
These fraud estimates are repeated (broadly) in 2015.
Possibly also of interest, it is estimated that 30 million prescription items, worth around £237 million in lost revenue to the NHS per annum, are claimed free incorrectly each year:
Roberts, M. (2014). Prescription fraud clampdown plan heavily criticised. London: BBC Health News, December 30th 2014.
On the other hand, no prescription charges apply at all in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.