NHS funds fraudulently used to import horse sperm?

According to an article in The Independent on Sunday (7 December 2008), police are investigating an allegation that a hospital manager imported equine semen for her stud farm, claiming it was for human IVF treatment.

Louise Tomkins (45) was employed as a senior general manager at the Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust in west London. It is alleged that she diverted NHS funds to buy horse sperm that was then used to breed mares. Ms Tomkins was arrested by police and was bailed. It is understood that she recently left the trust, which she joined in 2004.

According to The Independent on Sunday, “NHS trust sources said police were alerted after internal audits revealed an unusual series of large purchases of human semen from overseas suppliers. Invoices said to be worth several hundred thousand pounds had allegedly been created to account for the transactions. When these were later checked it appeared that the companies had supplied thoroughbred horse sperm.”

Assuming the allegations are found to be true, this will have to go down as one of the most unusual frauds carried out by a manager in the NHS.

Readers might like to be reassured that “NHS trust sources…..stressed there has been no suggestion of any horse sperm being improperly or inadvertently used in the trust’s IVF treatments.”

Read the full Independent article here.

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