Louise Tomkins of Faygate, Horsham jailed for NHS fraud

An extensive investigation undertaken by the NHS Counter Fraud Service (NHS CFS) and the Metropolitan Police has yesterday culminated in a senior NHS manager being jailed at Southwark Crown Court for defrauding the National Health Service of over £200,000.

Louise Tomkins, aged 47, of Faygate, Horsham, West Sussex address, pleaded guilty to one charge of making a false representation contrary to The Fraud Act 2006 covering the period July 2007 to September 2008. She was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court yesterday (10 June) to two years and nine months imprisonment. Confiscation proceedings have commenced to recover the falsely obtained monies.

Tomkins abused her position of trust as a general manager at the former Hammersmith Hospital NHS Trust (now Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust) and then interim Director of Operations for Ealing Hospital NHS Trust, to divert public money to fund her private horse and stud farm business.

She fabricated and manipulated invoices which she then authorised payment through the NHS. These invoices represented payments for goods and services that were not required by nor provided to the Trust. These included the purchase of horses and the importation of horse sperm for breeding top class horses.

Her role at the HammersmithHospital included acting as a Fund Advisor for Hospital Charitable Funds. Using falsified invoices Tomkins misused Charitable Funds for her own business.

Tomkins was suspended by Imperial College NHS Trust on 23 September 2008 shortly after allegations were first made. She was charged at Hammersmith and Fulham police station on 11 August 2009.

At a disciplinary hearing held by the Trust on 27 November 2009 she was dismissed for gross misconduct.

Whilst under investigation, she continued to seek employment in the NHS using Employment Agencies. She attempted to gain work under the names of Tonka Joud or Rosemarie Joud.

The investigation also prevented the payment of a substantial redundancy package of £41,944.00 being granted to Tomkins after she had brought a grievance against the Trust.

Following her guilty plea, sentencing was adjourned by the court to allow Tomkins time to sell her horses to achieve the best possible prices in order to satisfy any future confiscation order.

Detective Constable Gareth Rees from Hammersmith and Fulham CID said:

"Louise Tomkins held a position of responsibility within the NHS, and whilst employed in this role, she falsely submitted medical invoices in order to personally benefit financially to the amount of £200,000.

"This money funded her lavish lifestyle in the equestrian world. Her full guilty plea demonstrates the hard work and dedication shown by all staff involved in this investigation."

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