An NHS dentist who defrauded the NHS for in excess of £200,000 has been jailed for three years.
Mark Walewski, 68, from Tilford Road, Churt, Surrey is the latest NHS worker to be prosecuted for financial crimes in recent months, after he stole money in order to acquire a fleet of classic cars.
It has been widely reported that Walewski had an income in excess of £150,000 per annum.
Guildford Crown Court heard that the dentist has stolen money over a six-year period.
Judge Stephen Climie sentenced him to three years in prison for two counts of evasion of a liability by deception and two counts of fraud by abuse of position.
Commenting on the sentence, Climie indicated that he considered the conduct of Walewski to have been completely unapologetic, and that this was influenced in the sentencing.
“This is a case which, in my judgment, involved a gross abuse of the position of trust which you enjoyed. It is of course no small task to achieve the qualification of becoming a dentist and you did so with the many factors that opposed you. Nonetheless the position that you obtained in these circumstances is a privilege and one which carries significant rewards. Despite that, for a significant period of time you abused the system that was open to you and as a result the NHS suffered this significant loss.”
The dentist made double-claims for treatments, as well as making numerous claims for treatment that had never been carried out.
These included check-ups on babies and fillings on young children, leaving their dental records incorrect.
Between April 2006 and August 2012, he claimed for 6608 “units of dental activity” – the measure used to work out how much dentists are paid – which totalled just over £432,000 and resulted in a loss to the NHS of £222,703.34.
Considering the raft of fraud which has been uncovered in the NHS over the last few months, question marks have been raised regarding the durability of processes in the NHS in order to identify such activity.
This particular case has also reopened wounds and debates regarding the role of migrant labour in the NHS. Walewski had originally hailed from Poland.
But it was also acknowledged that the dentist had battled against the odds to reach his career status, with his son having cerebral palsy.
Considering this issue, individuals participating in the court proceedings expressed their surprise that Walewski had taken advantage of children in his fraud.