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Senior NHS manager who earned £1m imprisoned for fake qualifications

by Alice Harrold
7 March 2017

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Another person has been jailed in the Crown Prosecution Service’s campaign to rid the health service of sham title-holders.

Jon Andrewes, 63 from Totnes in Devon, has been sentenced to two years in prison after falsifying his qualifications to secure a job as a senior NHS manager and get paid more than £1m from 2005-16.

During his NHS career, Andrewes held the positions of chairman of the Royal Cornwall hospital trust, chief executive at St Margaret’s hospice in Taunton and temporary chair of Torbay NHS trust.

Andrewes admitted to two counts of fraud and one count of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception.

His prosecution followed an investigation by anti-fraud officials at the Department of Health in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service.

‘Series of staggering lies’

Andrewes had lied about his work history, including saying that he had worked at the Home Office, and wrongly using the title Dr. He told the NHS that he had two PhDs and a master’s degree but in reality had a higher education diploma in social work and a teaching qualification.

Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC told Andrewes at Exeter crown court: ‘For a period of over 10 years your outwardly prestigious life was based upon a lie, a series of staggering lies, repeated lies about your education, and employment background and your experience, lies by which you obtained responsible positions.’

Judge Mercer found that Andrewes would not have been hired to those roles if he had told the truth about his experience and said he had caused real damage to public confidence in the organisations he worked in.

The prosecutor, Cameron Brown told the court that Andrewes had been rated as ‘unsatisfactory’ in some of his jobs.

The court was told there is an ongoing investigation into how Andrewes was able to secure multiple senior NHS roles.

Fake qualifications:

  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants diploma
  • PhD in ethics management from Plymouth University
  • PhD in business administration from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh
  • Master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh
  • Bachelor degree from the University of Bristol

Alex Johnson, a senior crown prosecutor with the CPS’s specialist fraud division, said: ‘Jon Andrewes repeatedly lied on his CV in order to better his chances of securing lucrative senior roles across the health service.

‘The investigation team built a case which clearly outlined the scale of the deception and, faced with the evidence against him, Andrewes pleaded guilty.’

The defence, Ros Collins said of Andrewes: ‘He has every respect for his former employers. He is very distressed for causing them any embarrassment. He has been loyal to the caring profession for many, many years.’